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Supporting landowners in California’s wildfire battle

California is struggling with an escalating wildfire crisis, fueled by years of fire suppression and the growing effects of climate change. This has led to larger and more intense wildfires across the state.

To address this, there are specialized programs available that provide expert advice, financial help, and grants. These are aimed at organizations and private landowners undertaking projects to boost the health and productivity of their lands, which in turn helps reduce the wildfire threat.

Learn more about these support programs below.

  • Reforestation
  • Grants
  • Insurance
  • Counties
  • Utilities & Infrastructure
seedlings growing in a greenhouse

Your role in reforestation

Reforestation is key to building sustainable forests for the future. Here’s how it works:

  • Collecting & planting seeds: We gather cones based on their location and elevation, then plant the seeds to grow new, healthy trees.
  • Benefits for everyone: Reforestation improves air and water quality, supports wildlife, increases biodiversity, and strengthens forest resilience.

Reforestation resources for landowners

 

Dead & dying tree removal support in your county

As a landowner in California, you have access to various resources and support for managing your trees and reforesting your land county-by-county.

The Kern County Fire Department (KCFD) has taken the lead in working to reduce the hazards posed by unprecedented tree mortality problems in Kern County.
Hundreds of trees have been removed to ensure safe access and evacuation routes in impacted communities. However, there are still a large number of dead trees that are becoming more unstable and continue to pose a huge fire danger. Kern County is committed to continue working to reduce the risks posed by the tree mortality crisis.

The Tuolumne County Tree Mortality Task Force was created to mitigate risks to health and safety and damage to infrastructure due to Tree Mortality.

The county is working to remove hazardous trees by using emergency state funding and CAL FIRE SRA Tree Mortality grant funding. The overarching mission of the Task Force is to work cooperatively with its partners and citizens and coordinate resources and reduce the impacts of Tree Mortality in the county.

Understanding high fire-threat districts by CPUC

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) maps out areas at risk for wildfires linked to utility power lines and equipment, labeling them as high fire-threat districts (HFTDs). These are split into three levels of risk: extreme (Tier 3), elevated (Tier 2), and those tied to tree mortality (Tier 1). You can see these zones on the map below.

CPUC High Fire-Threat Districts

Keeping vegetation clear from utility equipment

Vegetation touching power lines can spark wildfires, and utility equipment can sometimes fail, adding to the risk. CAL FIRE enforces laws to keep areas around power lines and poles clear of vegetation to reduce these dangers. For a deeper look into the rules and who’s responsible, CAL FIRE’s Utility Wildfire Mitigation Program page has all the info, including links and detailed guidance.

Vegetation management resources

Utility companies’ role in wildfire prevention

The Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety mandates that investor-owned and public utility companies create and submit Wildfire Mitigation Plans (WMPs) to show how they’re working to reduce wildfire risks from their operations. These plans are carefully reviewed and need approval from the right authorities, ensuring that both public and private utilities are doing their part to prevent wildfires.

Investor-owned utility WMPs are reviewed and approved by Energy Safety, and publicly-owned utility WMPs are reviewed and approved by the Wildfire Safety Advisory Board. Below are links to the WMPs.

Caltrans’ efforts in vegetation management

Caltrans is also on the front lines, managing roadside vegetation to prevent fires. They have a variety of resources and programs in place to address tree mortality and keep roadsides safe from fire risks. For more information, see the links below:

Learn more about wood management with our free guide

Interested in how you can manage wood and vegetation on your property to prevent wildfires? Check out our free wood management brochure for tips and strategies to keep your area safe.

people gathering leaves into a trash can