Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the California Fire Foundation announced three groups in Sonoma County will receive a total of more than $30,000 as part of the 2019 Wildfire Safety and Preparedness grant program. The program provides funding for fire agencies, firefighters and Community/Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams (CERT/NERT) in Northern California.
The grants are targeted specifically for communities identified as extreme or elevated fire risk by the California Public Utilities Commission High Fire-Threat District map.
The Larkfield Resilience Fund, Fire Safe Sonoma and the Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District received the grants for fire prevention and preparedness programs, as well as outreach to the public.
"Our community was devastated by fire in 2017 and this grant allows us to put emergency preparedness plans into place, and action, that provide our families with a sense of safety and peace of mind for the future,” said Christine Ratliff of the Larkfield Resilience Fund.
“We have used and are still using our grant to deliver prevention and preparedness messages at the community level. This funding has allowed us to better prepare our residents for all types of emergencies,” said Marshall Turbeville, fire chief with the Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District.
State-wide, grants funded by PG&E were awarded to 26 applicants — a total of more than $347,000 — for projects and programs to help reduce the risk of wildfires in local communities. The California Fire Foundation carefully reviewed all grant applications and selected the grantees. The foundation also will administer the funds.
“Wildfire safety begins with fire-safe communities, particularly in areas where the risk is most urgent,” said Brian K. Rice, chair of the California Fire Foundation. “The California Fire Foundation is proud to help communities better prepare for fire, and we appreciate PG&E’s support in making these grants possible.”
The funding will support developing fire prevention and safety education programs in high fire-threat communities, focusing on educational resources that are culturally and linguistically appropriate to reach and engage California’s vulnerable and underserved populations.
“PG&E appreciates our partnerships with the California Fire Foundation and local fire departments and community-based organizations. Wildfire is a statewide issue and will take all of us working together to help protect our communities from the threat and make them more resilient to climate change,” said Michael Lewis, senior vice president of electric operations for PG&E.