CAL FIRE, Board Working to Increase Pace and Scale of Wildfire Prevention Activities

This is a press release from CAL FIRE:

Cal Fire CDFSACRAMENTO The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) and CAL FIRE express their deepest condolences to all the families affected by the ongoing wildfires in southern California, as well as those who endured losses in northern California during the month of October. With over 1.3 million acres burned and over 10,000 structures destroyed, the impacts from wildfires across the state during this fire season are devastating. CAL FIRE and the Board recognize the changing conditions of the State’s fire season. California now often experiences a year-round fire season, with an increase in both the number and the intensity of large, damaging wildfires over the last decade. This is the “new normal” of the State’s wildfire environment.

In addition to having a strong response model, these “new normal” conditions require the State to continue to engage in wildfire prevention to protect lives and property

“The citizens of this state should understand that the 2017 fire season does not preclude people from living in reasonable safety within the California environment. All aspects of pre-fire planning, including fire prevention activities, building codes and land-use planning are equally important to assist the state in managing the costs and economic losses associated with these wildfires,” states Dr. Keith Gilless, Chair of the Board.

The “new normal” has swiftly escalated the challenges faced by firefighters and resource management professionals. The Board and CAL FIRE recognize that aggressive fire prevention and forest health programs can help address the factors influencing the occurrence of large, damaging wildfires.

“CAL FIRE is focused on increasing the pace and scale of fire prevention activities, including vegetation management, across the state,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE Director and California’s state forester. “These activities play a critical role in helping reduce the impacts large, damaging wildfires have on our communities.”

In response to the clear need for increased fire prevention activities, the Board has developed a Statewide Programmatic Environmental Impact Report titled “California Statewide Vegetation Treatment Program,” known as the VTP PEIR. The project will provide California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance for CAL FIRE and other public agencies’ vegetation management projects. This VTP PEIR is intended for vegetation management activities that lower the risk of catastrophic wildfires on nonfederal lands by managing vegetation to modify/reduce hazardous fuels.

“CAL FIRE, working in collaboration with other public, private and academic organizations, is looking forward to implementing even higher levels of prevention activities under the VTP PEIR across California to assist communities in reducing risks of wildfire impacts by being more defensible during suppression efforts,” stated Chief Pimlott.

The Board has been very deliberate in its efforts in preparing the VTP PEIR, taking into consideration the complex concerns expressed by the public.

“We have worked hard at preparing a project that balances the concerns expressed by the public, while supporting an increased level of vegetation management activities as a means of wildfire prevention within the state,” stated Dr. Gilless.

The Board recently published a draft of the VTP PEIR for full recirculation under CEQA for public comment. The comment period closes at 5 pm on January 12, 2018. A copy of the project can be located on the Board’s website.

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12 comments

  • Great. No mention of the locals (Native Americans) teaching firefighters from around the country about pre-burning in areas of high danger. Its something the natives did for hundreds of years, until we fenced them up on reservations.

    http://www.krcrtv.com/north-coast-news/fighting-fire-with-fire-in-orleans/654297795

    http://www.wildlandfire.com/docs/biblio_indianfire.htm

    I remember the fires around Denny in 1999 (Big Bar Complex). My CalFire boss called it a Christmas fire, because they made so much money off it.

    • Kat Anderson wrote a great book called “Before the Wilderness”, which contains historical accounts of fire use by natives from the first Spanish explorers. I believe it was published by Island Mountain Press around 1985. Great reading for anyone interested in fire ecology in California.

  • Finally, putting to use the fire prevention fee they have been collecting from rural residents for the last several years!! Too bad it is too late for many who have lost so much.

  • New normal is because they won’t let the forest burn, they keep suppressing fires so the build fuel. New normal is they CAL-FIRE is preparing you for a new and BIG fee so they can build their empire even larger.

    • Who, in your opinion, is the Emperor of CalFire?

      Do you think the fees CalFire collects ends up in some government bureaucrat’s bank account?

      • It is not an unreasonable supposition

        • It’s a crazy conspiracy theory; as reasonable as bigfoot.

          • Every expansion of the government has to be paid for. So it is not the least unreasonable that those least able to oppose it- rural people- will find themselves charged as if living near government lands makes them responsible for paying for them. That has been the tendency in the last years with the State grabbing what used to be local funding on the promise of redistibuting it back to cover loss of income from the taking of so much land by the government then cutting that redistribution off in any budget crunch. Even our ‘local’ State Representatives are more interested in posturing for city folk wants than our needs.

      • Yes look it up its called a slush fund.

    • Not one word about Californian’s life style contributing in a huge way to CLIMATE CHANGE, (which is the over riding cause of the devastating increase in length and intensity of fire season), as being responsible for “the new normal” is seen in Cal Fire’s statement.

      The first step to throttle back the ‘WARMING” should be to make a massive public information campaign, that will reach EVERYONE. Just for starters: we can not continue to consume or use products that waste large amounts of fossil fuels such as unnecessary plastics (excess packaging, single use plastic bags and containers) as well as frivolous use of internal combustion engines. Joy riding in all types of recreational vehicles needs to be curtailed. Car pooling and mass transit need to be emphasized and facilitated.

      Sorry folks, it may seem extreme, but this is the “new” reality that we have come to. Our ignorance and the unwillingness to adapt will be our demise. Too many humans will fight to the death to remain ignorant and resist changes in life style that will help the planet and ALL its life forms (not just humans) survive and flourish on a healthy and beautiful world. Is it really all about “the economy” ? We need to develop new life enhancing types of jobs for people that we can feel good about. That is real wealth and a rich way to live.

      George

  • In other words, kiss your rebuilding permits goodbye?

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