SACRAMENTO - Tuesday, the Assembly Republican Wildfire Caucus held an open forum to discuss solutions to the Wildfire Crisis. This comes after the Assembly infamously cancelled a hearing on Wildfire Prevention and Forest Resiliency. As a result, Assemblymember Waldron and other members of the Wildfire Caucus hosted their own forum to bring transparency to this crisis.
“We are desperate for more accountability and transparency as the Wildfire crisis continues to damage lives, property, and climate goals. It is critical that we prioritize vegetation management and wildfire prevention funding to reduce fire fuel load, increase aerial assist capacity, and establish fire safe councils that can track metrics on our goals.”
The Assembly Wildfire Caucus is asking for three things:
1. $500 million from the General Fund for Fire Prevention and Forest Health Grants.
2. Exempt these projects from CEQA.
3. Extend the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund commitment in SB 901 through 2028-29 and make that $200 million a continuous appropriation.
Background: 2020 was the worst year California has had on record fighting wildfires with 33 people losing their lives. Over 4.2 million acres burned last year, resulting in an estimated 112 million metric tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. 2021 is on trend to be even worse. With a series of wildfires, California has already burned approximately 1.7 million acres. An article from the Sacramento Bee indicated that last week the top 10 cities in the nation with the worst air quality are all in Placer, El Dorado and Washoe counties.
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.