PG&E continues to partner with California Fire Foundation to award grants

Staff Report

The California Fire Foundation (CFF) has announced $680,000 in wildfire safety grants to 55 local fire departments, fire agencies and community groups across the state through its Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program (WSPP).

Among the agencies scheduled to receive grants are Santa Barbara County Fire Department with $10,000 to support education, planning or community outreach campaigns; and Lompoc Fire Department with $12,000 to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE).

The grants are part of a broad wildfire safety program administered and managed by the CFF.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) supports the program with $1.4 million in charitable funding. The objective is to raise awareness about wildfire safety and bring resources to underserved communities in high fire-threat areas. For a 2020 summary of the WSPP, click here.

“Once again, we are experiencing an extremely destructive wildfire season throughout the state that is impacting communities far and wide,” said Rick Martinez, executive director of the California Fire Foundation. “Grant funding from the 2021 Wildfire Safety and Preparedness Program aims to bring additional resources to fire departments and local organizations to give them extra support to help keep our communities safe.”

Teresa Alvarado, PG&E Central Coast and South Bay region vice president, said: “Safety is PG&E’s most important responsibility. We are pleased to see these grants going to our community partners at Lompoc City Fire Department and Santa Barbara County Fire Department to support wildfire risk reduction efforts.”

Since 2018, 200 fire departments and fire agencies statewide have received funding through the WSPP. Funding targets specific communities identified as having extreme or elevated fire risk as identified by the California Public Utilities Commission.

“As California’s wildfire risk continues to grow, it will take all of us working together to find solutions to stop catastrophic wildfires,” PG&E’s Alvarado added. “We’re grateful to partner with CFF in supporting fire departments, other agencies and community groups to achieve that mutual objective.” 

The WSPP focuses on two key areas to help keep communities safe:

  • Wildfire Safety Campaign that features fire safety education, developed by CFF, in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Hmong to promote early evacuation during fires. The WSPP has worked hard to overcome language barriers by developing and distributing in-language fire-safety messaging. This campaign includes paid ads in radio, television, and digital ads, and outdoor billboards in high fire-threat areas.
  • Grant Program administered by the CFF through an application process. The CFF awards grants to recipient fire departments, agencies and community groups in support of projects and programs focusing on wildfire/disaster prevention, preparedness and/or relief and recovery assistance.

PG&E’s contribution continues a four-year collaboration with CFF. PG&E has provided $4.6 million in total support for fire safety awareness through the WSPP. The charitable contribution is shareholder-funded, not funded by PG&E customers.

The CFF, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, aids firefighters, their families and the communities they protect. The CFF’s Firefighters on Your Side program, also supported by PG&E, provides multi-lingual, culturally relevant fire safety messaging in both digital and print form, to assist the public in staying safe.