As fire season draws near, Sonoma County this week announced a vegetation management grant program for high-risk areas and key ecosystems.
The county is preparing to distribute between $2-$4 million to nonprofits, community organizations, local fire districts and other groups.
“There are so many grassroots efforts led by motivated local individuals and groups, and this support will help them deliver important projects with tangible safety benefits,” said Lynda Hopkins, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.
The funds come from a PG&E settlement awarded to the county as a result of the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires lawsuit. In 2020, the Board of Supervisors voted to allocate $25 million of the $149 million settlement toward vegetation management activities.
Some high-risk areas targeted by the grant program include areas to the northeast of developed communities, and defensible space within 100 feet of homes in densely populated neighborhoods that are oriented in a west and/or south direction and are within canyons that border the east and west of the populated area.
Other priorities are areas that burned in recent fires; areas that border large public and private lands and dense developments; and areas surrounding primary evacuation routes and key infrastructure.
Grant applications must be received by 5:00pm May 16.
A virtual workshop for eligible applicants will be held on April 29 from 5:00 – 6:30pm Attendees may join the webinar here with passcode 544139. More information on the grant program is available at the Sonoma County Ag and Open Space website.