Berkeley mayor announces fire fuel reduction program amid fire season

City of Berkeley /Courtesy

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As the state enters an extremely dry fire season, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín outlined a program to help minimize the threat posed to the city by wildfires.

The program includes $500,000 aimed at reducing hazardous vegetation and “ladder fuels” on public property, including the city’s parks, and removing potentially hazardous trees, according to a press release from Arreguín’s office.

The Fire Fuel Chipper and Debris Bin program, which gives residents in fire zones access to a wood chipper and debris pickup services, also received additional funding.

“I implore Berkeley residents, in particular those living in high risk areas, to prepare a go-bag, to develop and know your evacuation plan, and refrain from parking in areas that may restrict fire access in the event of an emergency,” Arreguín said in the press release. “We must remain vigilant as we hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

The press release noted that the red flag warning issued May 7 was one of the earliest warnings issued in the city’s history. The last red flag warning issued this early in the fire season was in May 2013, the press release added.

Aditya Katewa is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.