$600 million in new federal funding to support California wildfire recovery efforts, additional funding for state projects that mitigate wildfire risk
California Blueprint proposes an additional $1.2 billion as part of total $2.7 billion multi-year package to bolster wildfire preparedness
New federal 10-year strategy aligns with the Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – Governor Gavin Newsom today joined Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on a visit to the San Bernardino National Forest to highlight new federal funding for wildfire recovery and mitigation efforts and discuss state-federal collaboration to tackle the wildfire crisis, complementing California’s bold investments and ongoing work to build wildfire resilience statewide. The California Blueprint proposes an additional $1.2 billion as part of a total $2.7 billion multi-year package to step up forest management and other projects to decrease catastrophic wildfire risk amid the extreme climate impacts across the West.
“California is on the frontlines of the climate crisis, experiencing record-breaking heat waves, wildfire seasons, and droughts. We’re fortunate to have the Biden-Harris Administration’s partnership in meeting this existential challenge head-on,” said Governor Newsom. “Our state is leading the nation with transformative investments and innovative strategies to protect Californians and the environment. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the federal government to scale up this vital work, and I thank Vice President Harris for her leadership in this space.”
Vice President Harris today announced $1.3 billion in federal funding for post-wildfire and hurricane recovery in states across the country, including $600 million to support California communities hit hard by recent wildfires with cleanup efforts, reforestation, watershed restoration and infrastructure repairs. In addition, the Vice President announced more than $48 million in funding for Joint Chief’s Landscape Restoration Partnership projects – including four in California – that mitigate catastrophic wildfire risk and help create climate-resilient landscapes, protect water quality and enhance wildlife habitat.
At San Bernardino National Forest, Governor Newsom joins Vice President Harris and Secretary Vilsack to highlight state-federal action to build wildfire resilience.
Today’s announcements build on the Biden-Harris Administration’s recently-released 10-year strategy that aligns with the Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan. The strategy calls for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to significantly expand fuels and forest health treatments, prioritizing high-risk areas including the Sierra Nevada Range in California. Joint state-federal management is crucial to California’s overall forest health and wildfire resilience, as the federal government owns 57 percent of California’s forestlands while the state owns 3 percent.
Following an aerial tour of fire scars from the 2020 El Dorado Fire and Apple Fire, the Governor, Vice President and Secretary Vilsack joined officials including Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) at the USFS Del Rosa Fire Station for a briefing by state and federal fire officials. USFS Chief Randy Moore, USFS Regional Forester Jennifer Eberlien, California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot and CAL FIRE Acting Director Michael Richwine provided an overview of this year’s fire outlook, current drought impacts and the extreme weather conditions that are driving catastrophic wildfires in the Western U.S.
Building on the Governor’s previous budget investments in emergency management and executive actions to help combat catastrophic wildfires, the California Blueprint proposes an additional $1.2 billion as part of a total $2.7 billion multi-year investment to step up forest management and other projects to decrease catastrophic wildfire risk. The Blueprint also includes $648 million for firefighters and firefighting equipment, including new fire hawks and helitankers. In addition, a proposed $175.2 million, as part of a planned $1.1 billion investment over the next five years, will fund major capital outlay projects that include replacing fire stations and making improvements to accommodate CAL FIRE’s new helicopter and aircraft fleet.
In 2020, the Newsom Administration and the U.S. Forest Service announced a shared stewardship agreement under which they are working to treat one million acres of forest and wildland annually to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. The Governor last year launched an expanded and refocused Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force with federal, local and tribal leaders to deliver on key commitments in his Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan. Additional information on the California Blueprint’s proposals to advance the state’s climate leadership and protect communities from wildfire, drought, extreme heat and carbon pollution can be found here.