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Cal Fire Doles Out Millions To Fight Tree Mortality

Sacramento, CA — Cal Fire dishes up over $15 million in grant money and the Mother Lode will get a piece of the pie totaling more than $3 million.

The Fire Prevention and Tree Mortality Grants will be used to remove dead and dying trees and thin fuels that could otherwise inflame wildfires.  Using state funds and fees collected from homeowners who live in California’s urban-wildland interface, CAL FIRE reports the millions will go to fire safe councils, resource conservation districts, cities, counties, park districts, fire departments, and other entities.

Cal Fire spokesperson Scott McClean explains, “There were 264 submittals, which 107 projects were approved for grant monies. They had to build their case, noting what the money would be used for and give a time frame. Only 34 counties received money out of the 52 in the state.”

That included the Mother Lode where the funds are earmarked for the removal of dead or dying trees. Tuolumne County was tapped 12 times for different projects receiving nearly $2.4 million. Calaveras County was awarded almost $870,000 for these projects:

  • $199,192 Calaveras Foothills Fire Safe Council
  • $155,960 Mokelumne Hill Sanitary District (MHSD)
  • $311,570 Utica Water and Power Authority projects
  • $200,000 Calaveras Healthy Forests Impact Product Solutions (CHIPS)

As reported here, an estimated 102 million trees have died in California forests since 2010, according to the U.S. Forest Service, elevating the threat of wildfires. Cal Fire has responded to over 5,700 wildfires since the beginning of this year, an increase of 23 percent over last year. In addition, this year, Cal Fire plans to treat 35,000 acres through prescribed burns and fuel treatments and complete 250,000 defensible space inspections across the state. View the complete list of the grant projects here.