Placer County to benefit from $142 million in Cal Fire grants for fire recovery, forest health projects |

Placer County to benefit from $142 million in Cal Fire grants for fire recovery, forest health projects

A tanker fighting the Mosquito Fire near Foresthill.
Provided/Cal Fire

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Cal Fire, on Monday announced that $142.6 million has been awarded, including a chunk for a Placer County project, for statewide investments in projects intended to enhance carbon storage while restoring the health and resilience of existing and recently burned forests.

Cal Fire’s Forest Health Program is awarding 27 grants to local and regional partners implementing projects on state, local, tribal, federal, and private lands spanning over 75,000 acres and 24 counties. Fuels reduction and prescribed fire treatments funded under these grants are aimed at reducing excess vegetation and returning forest and oak woodlands to more fire, drought, and pest-resilient conditions.

Several projects include work within landscapes severely burned in recent wildfires. Ten awarded projects focus on post-fire reforestation and regeneration activities over the landscape of 11 catastrophic fires in California over the past 10 years. These fires include the Antelope, Bobcat, Beckwourth, Caldor, CZU Lightning Complex, Dixie, KNP Complex, McKinney, Mosquito, North Complex, and Rim.

“Cal Fire is proud to award Forest Health Grants that will provide invaluable reforestation and restoration capacity to California’s fire-effected and threatened landscapes and communities,” said John Melvin, assistant deputy director of resource protection and improvement for Cal Fire. “Fuels reduction, reintroduction of beneficial fire, treatment of degraded lands, and conservation of threatened forests are all vital to conserving and improving California’s forest health and resilience.”

Two-thirds of the awarded projects benefit disadvantaged or low-income communities. The economic opportunities provided by these investments are in addition to the expected benefits from forest management activities, including reduced threat of catastrophic wildfire, reduced risk to nearby communities, improvements in water quality and habitat, and climate change mitigation from carbon storage in wood products and retaining and improving forest carbon sinks.

Many of Cal Fire’s Forest Health grants were made available through California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars toward achieving the state’s climate change goals while also strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment- particularly in disadvantaged communities. This summer, Cal Fire expects to award additional grants of up to $115 million for Wildfire Prevention and up to $19 million for Tribal Wildfire Resilience.

Local projects include:

Mosquito Fire Recovery and Reforestation

Placer Resource Conservation District, Placer County, $5,000,000, 206,990 trees to be planted

The Mosquito Fire devastated much of southern Placer County with high-severity wildfire. If these areas are not treated and reforested, they will likely convert to brush and present a renewed wildfire risk within the next decade. The proposed project will fund site preparation and reforestation on no private land within the Mosquito Fire footprint. Treatments may include tree removal, mastication, chipping, prescribed fire, herbicide, and planting.

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