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New CAL Fire Division Dedicated To Wildfire Preparedness

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Sacramento, CA — CAL Fire has created a new division to assist local communities to prepare for wildfires.

The Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation Division within the Office of the State Fire Marshal will focus on fire prevention and community readiness for wildfires. With the passage of Assembly Bill 9, signed into law by Governor Newsom, the department will be adding another layer to its fire prevention efforts.

“For nearly 100 years, the Office of the State Fire Marshal has focused on fire prevention,” said Chief Mike Richwine, California’s State Fire Marshal. “With our new division focusing on wildfire prevention and community readiness, we will be able to expand our efforts in reducing the threat to lives and property.”

CAL Fire detailed that the main role of the division will be “to continue to develop, prioritize, and implement strategies and projects that create fire-adapted communities and landscapes by improving community preparedness, fire resilience in a local and regional capacity, as well as reducing the severity and damage caused by wildfires.” Chief Daniel Berlant has been appointed to lead the new division as its Deputy Director. He previously led the department’s Wildfire Planning & Engineering Program and, for nearly two decades, has served in various fire prevention and public engagement positions, like public information officer.

“As California continues to experience more severe and damaging wildfires, our wildfire strategy must include preparing our homes and communities to be more resistant to the effects of wildfire,” commented Chief Berlant.

Existing department programs, including defensible space, wildland building codes and home hardening, pre-fire planning, fire hazard severity zones, land use planning, wildfire prevention grants, and utility wildfire mitigation, will be consolidated into this division. State fire officials added that the local technical assistance provided to cities and counties by the division will be expanded to ensure they have the best available measures, practices, support, and funding to prepare their communities against wildfires.

For more information on the new division, click here.

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