Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes $2B for wildfire preparedness

Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing a $2 billion plan for wildfire and emergency preparedness.

Posted: May 25, 2021 12:40 AM
Updated: May 25, 2021 9:29 AM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - CAL FIRE might be seeing a huge boost soon, especially in the North State.

In his California Comeback Plan, Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing $2 billion going towards wildfire preparedness, making it the largest investment towards wildfires in the state’s history.

Much of it will go towards 30 additional fire crews, 12 new Cal Fire Hawk helicopters, seven large air tankers and an additional 1,400 seasonal firefighters.

Action News Now spoke with CAL FIRE's Resource Management Communication Officer, Christine McMorrow, and asked how these resources would be dispersed throughout the state.

“That’s going to be based on some type of formula based on need in that county,” she explained. “So, what projects are there, what capabilities are there and what the threat is to community private property or natural resources.”

McMorrow also said the North State would get additional firefighters on the ground rather than equipment.

“We’ve got our engines and our dozers and our air attacks but it’s really the people on the ground that put out the fires but also they are out doing fuels reduction work and fire prevention work," McMorrow said. "They are always active.”

Some people in the community were relieved to see more going towards fire prevention while others did not know if this funding was going in the right place.

“It definitely makes me feel a sense of safety, especially knowing how dry it gets in the summer," David Evers said. "It’s good that I’ve seen them clean around where the trees are." 

“I feel like it’s necessary but just because we are getting all this funding doesn’t mean it’s going to the right place,” Christopher Jensen said.

The $2 billion would also go towards forest management, like thinning overgrown forests and helping develop 500 fuel breaks.

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Light showers and gusty south winds are ahead for your Tuesday. We'll dry out and get warmer through the middle of this week. More showers are possible late Friday into Saturday, but we'll dry out just in time for Halloween on Sunday.
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