Huffman Announces $18.75 Million for North Coast Fire Defense and Resilience

May 16, 2024

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (CA-02) announced that he secured $18,754,105 for wildfire defense and resiliency projects in California’s Second Congressional District through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Wildfire Defense Grant program. The grants will help at-risk communities protect their homes, businesses, and infrastructure from wildfire and were made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Rep. Huffman helped pass.

“The North Coast has become all too familiar with the devastation of wildfires. As the climate crisis accelerates, so will these catastrophic fires – and we need to work to get resources out the door to make our communities more resilient for what’s ahead,” said Rep. Huffman. “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’ve been able to make game-changing investments in wildfire defense and resilience for those at highest risk. I’m glad I could secure this funding for three great projects in my district that will ensure our communities, especially low-income and tribal ones, have the tools they need to keep our region safe.”

The projects in California’s Second District are:

  • $7,949,648 for the Trinity County Resource Conservation District’s Downriver Trinity Community Wildfire Protection Project
    • Implementation projects including roadside shaded fuel breaks, defensible space improvements, and other strategic fuel breaks. Project also includes education and outreach support intended to improve social resilience of communities by increasing knowledge regarding wildfire safety and building neighborhood connections for mutual aid.
  • $9,516,078 for the Trinity Public Utilities District’s Right of Way Wildfire Mitigation Project
    • Reduce fuel buildup in high wildfire risk areas and minimize the probability that TPUD's infrastructure will become the origin of or a contributing source of a wildfire. The project will increase shaded fuel breaks, conduct hazard tree abatement and remove ladder fuels, resulting in reduced wildfire risk.
  • $1,288,379 for the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council’s Firewise Activation
    • Projects and technical support to develop Risk Assessments and Action Plans, stimulate local organization, multiply volunteerism, and sustain a Firewise level of involvement into an embedded habit of wildfire-readiness. The project will also grow Micro-Grant programs to help activate and catalyze communities by starting them off with a significant, impactful initial project.

“This Community Wildfire Defense Grant will allow Trinity Public Utilities District to dramatically improve wildfire safety for communities of Trinity County. These funds will allow Trinity PUD to increase shaded fuel breaks around our facilities and increase hazard fuel abatement in and around our rights of ways, this will protect critical infrastructure and significantly reduce wildfire risk in Trinity County. We would like to thank Congressman Huffman and his staff for their continued support of Trinity PUD and our projects. We look forward to getting these projects in motion,” said members of the Trinity Public Utilities District.

“Trinity County Resource Conservation District is thrilled to have been awarded over $7.9 million for the Downriver Trinity Community Wildfire Protection Project through the US Forest Service’s Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program. This project will increase wildfire resilience of several rural communities along the Trinity River Corridor by implementing defensible space treatments, shaded fuelbreaks, fire-safe home assessments, Firewise education and outreach for children and adults, technical assistance for landowners, and more. The goal of this project is to bring together the community around the shared goal of wildfire safety, with partners including the Nor-Rel-Muk Wintu Nation, Tsnungwe Tribe, Trinity County Fire Safe Council, Corral Creek Timber Company, Willow Creek Fire Safe Council, Downriver Volunteer Fire Company, and Lower Trinity River Prescribed Burn Association. In communities that live in the shadow of severe wildfire threat, investments like this one empower grassroots organizations to shape an equitable and hopeful future in the face of climate change,” said Bethany Llewellyn, Trinity County Resource Conservation District Forest Health Program Manager.

The Community Wildfire Defense Program (CWDG) is a grant program intended to help at-risk local communities and tribes plan for and reduce wildfire risk.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorizes the $1 billion, five-year CWDG Program, which prioritizes at-risk communities that:

  • Are in an area identified as having high or very high wildfire hazard potential,
  • Are low income, or
  • Have been impacted by a severe disaster that affects the risk of wildfire.