The California Fire Foundation (CFF) has announced $680,000 in wildfire safety grants to 55 local fire departments, fire agencies and community groups through its Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program (WSPP). Among the local awardees serving Lake County is the Lake Pillsbury Fire Protection District and the Lemon Aide Project, with each receiving $15,000. The Lemon Aide Project is a nonprofit group that offers services and funding to those impacted by wildfires throughout Northern California, including Lake County. They will use the grant for education, planning and community outreach campaigns.
The Lake Pillsbury Fire Protection District will use its grant to purchase specialized firefighting equipment.
“Once again, we are experiencing an extremely destructive wildfire season throughout the state that is impacting communities far and wide,” said Chief Larry Thompson, of the Lake Pillsbury Fire Protection District. “This grant will help arm our firefighters with the necessary tools to keep the communities around the lake safe.”
The grant is part of a broad Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program (WSPP) that is administered and managed by the CFF. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) supports the program with $1.4 million in charitable funding. The program’s objective is to raise awareness about wildfire safety and bring resources to underserved communities in high fire-threat areas. For a 2020 summary of the WSPP, click here.
Since 2018, 200 fire departments and fire agencies statewide have received funding through the WSPP. Funding targets specific communities identified as having extreme or elevated fire risk as identified by the California Public Utilities Commission High Fire-Threat District map.
“As California’s wildfire risk continues to grow, it will critical take all of us working together to find solutions to mitigate catastrophic wildfires. We’re grateful to partner with CFF in supporting dozens of fire departments, agencies and community groups to bolster some key defenses including tools and strategies to prevent and contain wildfires, and fire safety education,” said Ron Richardson, Regional Vice President for PG&E’s North Coast Region.
The WSPP focuses on two key areas to help keep communities safe:
- Wildfire Safety Campaign that features fire safety education, developed by CFF, in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hmong to promote early evacuation during fires. The WSPP has worked hard to overcome language barriers by developing and distributing in-language fire-safety messaging. This campaign includes paid ads in radio, television, and digital ads, and outdoor billboards in high fire-threat areas.
- Grant Program administered by the CFF through an application process. The CFF awards grants to recipient fire departments, agencies, and community groups in support of projects and programs focusing on wildfire/disaster prevention, preparedness and/or relief and recovery assistance.
How the Grants Help Communities
PG&E’s contribution continues a four-year collaboration with CFF. PG&E has provided $4.6 million in total support for fire safety awareness through the WSPP. The charitable contribution is shareholder-funded, not funded by PG&E customers.
The CFF, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, aids firefighters, their families, and the communities they protect. The CFF’s Firefighters on Your Side program, also supported by PG&E, provides multi-lingual, culturally relevant fire safety messaging in both digital and print form, to assist the public in staying safe.