Santa Rosa, CA – August 20, 2018 – Sonoma
County Transportation and Public Works (TPW) has been awarded a grant in the
amount of $1,082,969 by CAL FIRE, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection,
Fire Prevention Grants Program. This award was provided to support TPW for
their proposed Roadway Safety, Fuels Reduction, Community Chipper and
Engagement Project. The proposal includes support for the project from Sonoma
County Fire and Emergency Services and Fire Safe Sonoma, Inc.
applaud CAL FIRE for supporting Sonoma County with this funding, which will
allow us to make our roads safer for the next time wildfire or other hazards
strike. Instead of mere incremental improvement, this funding will support a
leap forward in reducing fuel loads and risks by removing hazardous trees and
vegetation,” stated Chair of the Board of Supervisors, James Gore. “Residents
must be able to evacuate safely and smoothly and firefighters must be able to
get in quickly to do their jobs. Last October’s wildfires show how important
this is for public safety.
these funds Sonoma County will assess fire fuel risks and tree mortality within
the public right of way on 83 miles of roads in northwestern Sonoma County, and
subsequently treat 30 miles of the highest priority areas by removing hazardous
trees and vegetation within the public right of way. The target area includes
the Sonoma County communities of Guerneville, Rio Nido, Monte Rio, Cazadero,
and Timber Cove. The process will include identification of hazardous
vegetation and trees by an arborist, and removal of those hazards within the
public right of way. This will result in safer access and egress for
firefighters and the public in the event of a wildfire.
new funding source and the much needed impact it will have on fire prevention
and roadway protection for our west county communities will address an urgent
need in our rural communities. The grant will provide the county with the
critical additional resources needed to reduce vegetation fuel loads and will
enhance public safety throughout the Fifth District,” shared Lynda Hopkins, Fifth
addition to reduction of risk of wildfire spread along roadways, the County of
Sonoma is providing a chipper and tow vehicle to implement increased community
chipper activities throughout the project areas. Sonoma County Fire and
Emergency Services will staff the chipper, which will be used for fire fuels
treatment along public right of ways and also for curbside chipping services.
Fire Safe Sonoma will lead education and outreach efforts to encourage property
owners in the targeted area to clear hazardous vegetation from their properties
through the chipper program. Outreach within the community will focus on
defensible space, structural hardening, wildfire preparation, evacuation
planning and the development of CAL FIRE fire safe councils.
project is anticipated to occur over a period of three and one-half years,
beginning October 2018 with the total cost of the project at $1,237,541
including Sonoma County’s match of $154,572.
more information on this project, please contact Daniel Virkstis, Public
Affairs Program Manager at: Daniel.Virkstis@sonoma-county.org or (707) 565-2992.