Paso Robles News|Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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District to receive $11-million in Cal Fire grants 

fire damage Paso RoblesFunds to go to fire mitigation and prevention projects as well as be used to protect critical escape routes

–This week, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) announced that communities in the 35th Assembly District will be receiving more than $11 million in fire prevention grants from Cal Fire.

The grants, awarded from funds the legislature inserted into the budget earlier this year via SB 85, will fund fire mitigation and prevention projects to protect communities at-risk of catastrophic fires. Funds will also be used to protect critical escape routes in the event a community is threatened and residents need to evacuate.

“We are experiencing some of the worst fire conditions in a long time,” said Cunningham. “With more than 2 million acres already burned this year, and the peak of fire season still to come, communities throughout the Central Coast and California remain at-risk. Experts have said that California needs to treat upwards of 1 million acres per year to cut down on catastrophic wildfires. The projects funded under these Cal Fire grants will help California meet that goal, and help keep Central Coast residents safe.

“I am proud of the work we’ve done to prioritize wildfire funding this past legislative session, and will continue to put the safety of our communities first.”

Recently announced CAL FIRE grants for projects within the 35th Assembly District total $11,564,022. Projects funded include:

  • $6.44 million to Santa Barbara County Fire Department to work on fire prevention and mitigation projects in and around the Tepusquet Canyon near Sisquoc. The overall project boundary is more than 42,000 acres.
  • $2.33 million to San Luis Obispo Fire Safe Council to treat 4,150 acres and protect more than 2,600 structures in 16 communities throughout SLO County, including Cal Poly dorms. Funding will also go towards treating 20 miles of roadside fuel to protect evacuation routes.
  • $2.41 million to San Luis Obispo Fire Safe Council to protect more than 1,600 structures in eight at-risk Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) communities: Lake Nacimiento, Atascadero, Pozo, Creston, Cambria, San Luis Obispo, Santa Margarita, and San Simeon.

 

Last week, Cunningham crossed the aisle to support a bill that would provide $200 million in continuous annual funding for wildfire prevention and mitigation projects through the 2028-29 fiscal year, calling out the need for California to, “make investments into prevention and mitigation programs.”

Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham is a small business owner; former school board member and prosecutor, husband and father of four. He represents all of San Luis Obispo County and a portion of Santa Barbara County, including Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Cambria, Paso Robles, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Orcutt, Pismo Beach, Templeton, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Maria, and surrounding communities.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.