CA Gov. Gavin Newsom highlights emergency preparedness investment

Photo of dry Berkeley hills
Lisi Ludwig/Senior Staff

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As part of the $100 billion California Comeback Plan, California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed significant investments in disaster prevention and climate change mitigation Monday.

The plan allocates $2 billion to bolster the state’s ability to combat wildfires through supporting wildfire suppression, improving forest health and increasing community resiliency to disasters, according to a press release from the governor’s office. CAL FIRE will also receive 12 new helicopters, seven air tankers and 30 new fire crews, the press release adds.

“Climate change has created a new wildfire reality in California, and we are proposing the single largest investment in wildfire preparedness in our state’s history,” Newsom said in the press release.

The investment in disaster preparedness follows an early-action wildfire package aimed at increasing fire safety for at-risk communities; it was signed by the governor in April. Newsom also announced an expansion to the state’s Forest Management Task Force in April, according to the press release.

The plan will additionally direct $1.3 billion toward combatting climate change and more than $3 billion to bring the state closer to “100% zero emissions.” The funds will help the state prepare for extreme heat and rising sea levels and promote public and private use of electric vehicles, the press release reads.

“With new investments in state-of-the-art firefighting technology and equipment and a focus on building resilience through fuel breaks, forest health projects and home hardening to protect our high-risk communities, the state is more prepared than ever to face wildfire season,” Newsom said in the press release.

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