The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has awarded nearly $138 million in local fire prevention grants, and a portion of the funds will be used in San Benito County to reduce carbon emissions by conducting prescribed burns.
As part of CalFire’s 2020-21, California Climate Investments program, the Regents of the University of California was awarded $705,023 to spend on fire prevention activities in San Benito County, according to a press release from CalFire.
“This project plans to reduce CO2 and particulate matter emissions by implementing prescribed fire as management tool, where this treatment is meant to reduce the risk of uncontrolled wildfire spreading and significantly impacting local resources,” reads CalFire’s description of the grant funds that landed in San Benito County. “Because prescribed fire is planned, the activities described in this grant proposal will reduce greenhouse gas emissions when compared to an equivalent size wildfire within a range of at least 18 to 25% less CO2 and particulate emissions.”
CalFire’s statewide $138 million grant program aims to support California’s strategy to reduce the size and severity of wildfires, says the press release. The funds have been distributed to 105 local fire prevention projects throughout the state, and will be spent over the next three to five years.
“This year, wildfires have once again been extremely severe and damaging, which only highlights our continued need to perform more community-based fire prevention projects,” said Chief Thomas Porter, CalFire director. “Our wildfire and forest strategy includes funding these types of fire prevention projects to reduce the severity of wildfires and harden our communities.”