Cal fire is giving the SLO County Fire Safe Council, a non-profit organization, $3.9 million to prevent fires in the county.
The council has applied for grants in the past, but so far the largest has been $500,000. This increased funding is much needed.
"California’s worst fires are happening right now. Our historically worst fires are happening right now," said Dan Turner, Business Manager SLO County Fire Safe Council. "We have to fix that and that is what this effort is, trying to come up with solutions to fix that."
The money comes from CAL FIRE at the state level.
The project includes four projects:
- $1.8 million to improve forest health and reduce fire danger in the Monterey Pine forest of Cambria and north coast $883,000 for hazardous tree removal and curbside chipping in Los Osos, Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Ranchita Estates, San Luis Obispo.
- $775,000 for fuel reduction at Oak Shores, Heritage Ranch, and south shore communities.
- $505,000 for improving fire safety in the Mark Hill-Pozo area east of Santa Margarita close to areas the Chimney Fire burned in 2016.
"We will be removing heavy fuels, dead and dying brush, cleaning up the sides of roads to improve access and egress from certain areas that are prone to fire," said Clint Bullard, SLO County CAL FIRE public information officer.
And with the current status of California fires, the grant couldn’t have come at a better time.
It’s all thanks to a number of volunteers on the council.
CAL FIRE also says home owners can help.
" There’s work they can do on their private property around there homes to provide that 100 ft of defensible space throughout all times of the year," said Bullard.
CAL FIRE recommends that you clear a path to and from your home, remove over-lying branches and make your house address visible.