California Group Seeking Legislative Action on Wildfires

August 12, 2019

A broad California coalition is calling for support for package of bills to create a California Wildfire Warning Center, develop more skilled firefighters and establish defensible space standards

Action for Wildfire Resiliency, a coalition of labor, public safety groups, businesses and utilities, is encouraging support for a package of measures calling for enhanced prevention to reduce wildfire risk.

Previously, the coalition pushed for passage of Assembly Bill 1054, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in July, establishing rules and accountability designed help the state prevent, prepare for, respond to and rebuild from catastrophic wildfires.

“Action for Wildfire Resiliency recognizes that more can and should be done to reduce the risk of wildfires and ensure sufficient resources are available to fight fires when they do occur,” coalition spokesperson Robin Swanson said in a statement.

More than 35 member organizations support a package of measures intended to boost California’s fire prevention efforts and to improve emergency response around the state.

The bills include:

  • Senate Bill 190 (Dodd): Would require the State fire marshal to develop a model defensible space ordinance and informational guides to improve public awareness of the standards.
  • Senate Bill 209 (Dodd): Would establish the California Wildfire Warning Center, a statewide network of automated weather and environmental monitoring stations that will conduct fire-weather forecasting and threat assessment to aid in wildfire prevention and response.
  • Assembly Bill 38 (Wood): Would establish the Fire Hardened Homes Revolving Loan and Rebate Fund to provide financial assistance and rebates to owners of eligible buildings to pay for fire hardening improvements and vegetation management costs necessary to create non-combustible defensible space.
  • Assembly Bill 1668 (Carrillo): Would open pathways to employment and skill development while increasing the number of qualified firefighters.

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