SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -- Santa Barbara County Fire and Lompoc City Fire Department will be receiving grants from the California Fire Foundation on Wednesday.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, or PG&E, announced that the two fire agencies were two out of 55 local fire departments, fire agencies and community groups across the state to receive $680,000 in wildfire safety grants.
Santa Barbara County Fire Department will receive $10,000 to support education, planning or community outreach campaigns.
Lompoc City Fire Department received $12,000 to purchase additional personal protective equipment.
The grants are part of a broad wildfire safety program administered and managed by the California Fire Foundation.
"Once again, we are experiencing an extremely destructive wildfire season throughout the state that is impacting communities far and wide," said Rick Martinez, executive director of the California Fire Foundation. "Grant funding from the 2021 Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program aims to bring additional resources to fire departments and local organizations to give them extra support to help keep our communities safe."
PG&E supports the program with $1.4 million in charitable funding. The goal is to raise awareness about wildfire safety and bring resources to underserved communities in high fire-threat areas.
“Safety is PG&E’s most important responsibility. We are pleased to see these grants going to our community partners at Lompoc City Fire Department and Santa Barbara County Fire Department to support wildfire risk reduction efforts," said Teresa Alvarado, the Vice President of PG&E Central Coast and South Bay region.
Since 2018, PG&E says at least 200 fire departments and fire agencies statewide have received funding through the Wildfire Safety Protection Program, or WSPP. The program helps specific communities that have extreme fire risks.
“As California’s wildfire risk continues to grow, it will take all of us working together to find solutions to stop catastrophic wildfires. We’re grateful to partner with CFF in supporting fire departments, other agencies and community groups to achieve that mutual objective,” PG&E’s Alvarado added.
The WSPP focuses on two key areas to help keep communities safe:
- Wildfire Safety Campaign 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.
To learn more about PG&E's WSPP, click here.