SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To raise awareness about wildfire safety and bring resources to underserved communities in high fire-threat areas in 2021, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is joining forces again with the California Fire Foundation (CFF), providing $1.4 million for CFF’s Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program (WSPP).
Fire departments and community-based organizations in California can submit applications beginning this week for grant funding to address ongoing wildfire risk. Applications must be submitted by June 18, 2021 at the CFF website. Award notification will begin on July 31, 2021.
Over the past three years, CFF has awarded grants to 145 fire departments and fire agencies statewide with a focus on Northern and Central California. 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.
“The Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program is a partnership with PG&E that was created to address the new normal in California of drier and hotter seasons. There is no end to a wildfire season in our state now, and residents must understand the steps to take to evacuate safely,” said Rick Martinez, Executive Director of the CFF. “After 2020 surpassed 2018 in the number of acres burned, it demonstrates an alarming trend that proves programs like WSPP are necessary for Californians to stay ahead and stay alert.”
“Keeping our customers and our hometowns safe is our most important responsibility. Our ongoing partnership with the California Fire Foundation and support for this important program brings resources and awareness to underserved residents living in high fire-threat areas. Being a good neighbor means showing up for those in need. We have increased our support this year to reach even more communities with important fire-safety information and further strengthen local fire resilience,” said Sumeet Singh, PG&E Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer.
How the Grants Help Communities
PG&E’s contribution continues a four-year collaboration with CFF. PG&E has provided $4.6 million in total support for fire safety awareness through the WSPP. The charitable contribution is shareholder-funded, not funded by PG&E customers.
Since 2018, WSPP has funded:
- Specialized fire equipment and personal protective equipment
- Defensible space and vegetation management efforts
- Fuel/hazard reduction programs
- Fire prevention and emergency preparedness education including senior citizen wildfire preparedness programs
- Fire safety outreach campaigns including 12,000 brochures targeting underserved communities in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hmong and Vietnamese
- Partnerships with community groups in high fire-risk areas to distribute fire-safety information
The WSPP has worked hard to overcome language barriers by developing and distributing in-language fire-safety messaging targeting Spanish, Chinese, Hmong, and Vietnamese communities. These efforts include a comprehensive media campaign consisting of outdoor billboards and in-language television, radio, and digital ads.
The CFF, a non-profit 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.
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