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Wildfire Safety and Preparedness: The PG&E Corporation Foundation and California Fire Foundation Announce Wildfire Safety Grant Funding

49 Grants Totaling $730,000 Awarded to Local Fire Departments, Fire Agencies and Community Groups

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Fire Foundation (CFF), with support from The PG&E Corporation Foundation (The PG&E Foundation), has awarded wildfire safety grants to 49 local fire departments, fire agencies and community groups in Northern and Central California. This is the sixth year grants have been awarded to help communities bolster their disaster preparedness programs.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PRNewsfoto/Pacific Gas and Electric Company)
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PRNewsfoto/Pacific Gas and Electric Company)

The wildfire safety grants — totaling $730,000 this year — have been distributed to agencies in high wildfire-risk areas with the goal of strengthening their disaster readiness and response. The grants announcement comes during National Preparedness Month, observed each September to raise awareness of the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that can happen at any time.

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Funding will be used to purchase personal protective and specialized equipment for firefighters, complete defensible space and vegetation management work, fuels and hazards reduction, and conduct fire safety public education and outreach. To see a full list of grantees click here.

The PG&E Foundation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) support CFF's broader 2023 Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program (WSPP) with $1.4 million in charitable funding. The program's objective is to raise awareness about wildfire safety in more areas in California and bring resources to underserved communities in high fire-threat areas. The grants to local organizations are one core component of the WSPP.

"Californians are able to be better prepared for wildfires and other natural disasters because of the WSPP and our partnership with PG&E. These grants are helping implement projects ranging from fuels reduction and community education to obtaining new equipment for their firefighters with this direct funding. These projects aim to prepare and protect residents and grantees are beyond grateful to do just that for the communities they serve," said Rick Martinez, Executive Director of the California Fire Foundation.

Since 2018, 314 fire departments and fire agencies statewide have received $3.79 million in direct funding through the grant program as part of WSPP, and each year the program receives more applications than the prior year. Funding targets specific communities identified as having extreme or elevated fire risk as identified by the California Public Utilities Commission High Fire-Threat District map.

"All of us must work together to adequately prepare for and respond to California's growing wildfire risk, exacerbated by climate change. We are grateful for our six-year partnership with the California Fire Foundation in working toward our shared goal of ensuring the safety of our hometowns — and we're privileged to be able to help fund local organizations taking proactive measures to prevent wildfires from starting. Wildfire resilience efforts are best developed in our communities with education, awareness and resources like those provided by the Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program," said Mark Quinlan, PG&E's Senior Vice President of Wildfire & Emergency Operations.

The WSPP focuses on two key areas to help keep communities safe:

  • A wildfire safety campaign that features fire safety education, developed by CFF, in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hmong to promote early evacuation during fires. The WSPP has worked diligently to overcome language barriers by developing and distributing in-language fire-safety messaging. This campaign includes advertising on radio, television and digital ads, as well as outdoor billboards in high fire-threat areas.

  • A grant program administered by the CFF through an application process. The CFF awards grants to recipient fire departments, agencies and community groups in support of projects and programs focusing on wildfire/disaster prevention, preparedness and/or relief and recovery assistance.

How the WSPP Helps Communities

Grantees this year utilized grant funding for the following critical outcomes:

  • 2,800 pieces of personal protection equipment (PPE) secured including helmets, boots, gloves, goggles, and fire shelters.

  • Fuel reductions/vegetation management

    • 176 acres of hazardous tree and brush removal

    • 380,500 pounds of tree limbs, branches and other combustibles chipping and hauling

    • 25 prescribed fires or pile burns

  • Fire safety education provided across Butte, El Dorado, Marin, Placer, San Luis Obispo, and Sonoma Counties, potentially benefiting over 1.8 million residents.

  • 236 pieces of specialized equipment which include:

    • 5,000 gal Water Storage Tanks

    • Portable Radios

    • Headlamps

    • Hoses/Clamps/Nozzles

    • Chainsaws

    • Gear Packs

  • Total Estimated Impact:

    • 6.9 Million Residents

PG&E's and The PG&E Foundation's combined 2023 $1.4 million support of the WSPP continues a six-year collaboration with CFF. PG&E and The Foundation have provided $7.4 million in total support for fire safety awareness through the WSPP. The charitable contribution is shareholder-funded, not paid for by PG&E customers.

The CFF, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, aids firefighters, their families and the communities they protect. The CFF's Firefighters on Your Side program, also supported by PG&E, provides multi-lingual, culturally relevant fire safety messaging in both digital and print form, to assist the public in staying safe.

About The PG&E Corporation Foundation 
The PG&E Corporation Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, separate from PG&E and sponsored by PG&E Corporation.

About PG&E
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.

About California Fire Foundation
The California Fire Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization, provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect. Formed in 1987 by California Professional Firefighters, the California Fire Foundation's mandate includes an array of survivor and victim assistance projects and community initiatives. cafirefoundation.org

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SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company