Governor’s Task Force Launches Strategic Wildfire Plan
Sacramento, CA — The Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force today issued its strategic plan to ramp up wildfire mitigation by using prescribed fires.
Called the Strategic Plan for Expanding the Use of Beneficial Fire, it advocates for expanding the use of prescribed fire and cultural burning to build forest and community resilience statewide. The plan is a collaborative effort of the state’s leading fire experts and managers. Its target is to expand the use of beneficial fire to 400,000 acres annually by 2025, part of an overall goal to treat 1 million acres annually in California by 2025. Last year, the state invested $1.5 billion in wildfire resilience.
Earlier this week, the governor participated in fuel management work along Highway 50, as seen in the image box. Noting that these efforts are critical to forest management and wildfire mitigation, Governor Gavin Newsom stated, “As climate change continues to exacerbate wildfire conditions, we’re bringing federal, state, tribal, and local partners together to more effectively address the scale of this crisis.” He added, “California is putting in the work to help protect our communities from the devastating impacts of wildfires, build for the long-term, and safeguard our treasured state for generations to come.”
The key elements of the strategic plan include:
- Launching an online prescribed fire permitting system to streamline the review and approval of prescribed fire projects;
- Establishing the state’s new Prescribed Fire Claims Fund to reduce liability for private burners;
- Beginning a statewide program to enable tribes and cultural fire practitioners to revitalize cultural burning practices;
- A prescribed fire training center to grow, train, and diversify the state’s prescribed fire workforce;
- An interagency beneficial fire tracking system;
- Pilot projects to undertake larger landscape-scale burns; and
- A comprehensive review of the state’s smoke management programs to facilitate prescribed fire while protecting public health.