After an unusually dry winter, California is going forward with more than $500 million in projects to reduce the danger of wildfires.
This month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a $536 million plan, about $200 million more than he had sought to spend on the wildfire threat in the first half of this year. The plan includes nearly $200 million to build fuel breaks near vulnerable communities, $283 million for forest management, and $25 million intended to draw $75 million in federal matching money to help make homes less likely to burn.
The state spent $9 billion fighting historically devastating fires last year. Spending on prevention this year is intended to reduce the number of blazes and make them less damaging.
Last year’s wildfire season burned more than 4% of the state, killed 33 people, and destroyed close to 10,500 buildings.