San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council is receiving nearly four million dollars in state grant funds for fire prevention work to help prevent wildfires in the county.
The $3.9 million in state funds for San Luis Obispo County is part of more than $200 million in state fire prevention and forest health grants to help reduce the impact of wildland urban interface fires under Senate Bill 1079 that was sponsored by State Senator Bill Monning, (D) 17th District, and signed by Governor Brown.
“My bill, Senate Bill 1079, allows for what we call advanced payment”, Senator Monning said at a brief press conference in Atascadero, “if you have a contract to do clearance, the state will front-load your bank account so you can pay those contractors and sub-contractors. We estimate that this front-loading is going to allow multiple projects that have been on hold to move forward immediately.”
“We’re facing with climate change new and greater risks in fire safety and fire suppression, this is a step toward prevention, an investment in trying to reduce the risks of these catastrophic fire incidents”, Monning said after a ceremonial check presentation in Atascadero to the San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council (SLO FSC).
The funds will pay for key fire prevention projecets in San Luis Obispo County including removal of dead trees in Cambria, San Simeon and the north coast area, clearance around Lake Nacimiento and in the Parkhill-Pozo area east of Santa Margarita.
“We just see what’s going on around the state of California and throughout my career, we witness way too many of these kinds of fires where homes are lost, people’s lives are destroyed”, said SLO FSC Business Manager and former local Cal Fire Chief Dan Turner, “it’s time we do something about it, and we have to put a lot of prevention effort in and that all costs money.”
Other areas to benefit from the state funds include fire prevention projects in Los Osos, Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Morro Bay, Ranchita Estates and San Luis Obispo.