The Yuba Water Agency Board of Directors today approved a local cost-share grant worth up to $240,000 for the Yuba Watershed Protection and Fire Safe Council to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and improve public safety for communities in the Yuba County foothills.
The funding will serve as the local cost share to help the Fire Safe Council be more competitive in its application for a Cal Fire grant worth up to $3.2 million. If the council is successful in getting the Cal Fire grant, the funds will be put toward a major project to reduce roadside fuels on approximately 1,000 acres within the five eastern Yuba County fire districts.
“Roadsides are the most frequent ignition points for wildfires,” said JoAnna Lessard, Yuba Water project manager, “So, this work will not only reduce the risk of wildfire, but also protect evacuation routes in the case of a large fire.”
“This project is critical to protect rural Yuba County residents, as well as our facilities located in the foothills,” said Yuba Water Board Vice-Chairman Randy Fletcher, whose district encompasses the foothills. “It would be great if our grant can leverage millions in state funds to minimize the risk of wildfire in our communities. With the dryness we’re already experiencing and the winds, the potential for wildfire exists right now."
If the Fire Safe Council is approved for the Cal Fire grant, Yuba Water’s funding will be used for project management costs, required surveys and hiring a forester to provide implementation coordination and oversight.
Yuba Water’s grant application acceptance windows are during March and September each year. This grant was considered sooner because the Cal Fire grant application is due Feb. 9 and it uses Yuba Water’s grant program to leverage external funding.