CA EO N-05-19 CAL FIRE to provide recommendations on wildfire prevention and mitigation, including at-risk populations
From California Governor Gavin Newsom, this Executive Order directs CAL FIRE and other state agencies to recommend administrative, regulatory, and policy changes to prevent and mitigate wildfires. To support the California communities most vulnerable to wildfire impacts, the California Department of Fire and Forest Protection (CAL FIRE) will also recommend a methodology to assess what communities are at greater risk from wildfire that includes socioeconomic factors. The order states that California's “present emergency condition” with wildfire is due to a history of fire exclusion, forests managed to be overcrowded, climate change and drought.
The EO requires a report from CAL FIRE within 45 days (from issuance January 8th) that provides near-term, medium-term, and long-term recommended actions for the following:
- Methods to most quickly deploy personnel and resources onto the landscape for the purpose of performing fuels management.
- Policy changes including but not limited to procurement or permitting waivers that will allow a more rapid and effective fuels management treatments, especially for projects accomplishable before the peak of fire season later this year.
- Methodology to assess which communities are at greater risk from wildfire and the projects within/nearby areas that would reduce the threat of a catastrophic wildfire if completed. In this context, CAL FIRE shall consider not only the best available science when identifying high-hazard communities, but also socioeconomic factors and vulnerable populations that exacerbate the human toll of wildfires. This scoping shall be done in consultation with local impacted stakeholders, experts and academics.
The EO states that “in order to prioritize the most at-risk communities, the State must consider two co-equally important factors of vulnerability: scientific and social. California must access the best available science about dangerous fuel conditions, wind patterns, fire behavior and other scientific indicators. But of equal importance are social vulnerability factors including social isolation, poverty, language barriers, and other access and functional needs challenges. Communities of high preponderance of physical fire danger and high indicators of social vulnerability, deserve the state’s highest attention.”
This Executive Order can maximize state investments in climate adaption. California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) will provide $1billion in funding over the next 5 years for wildfire fuels reduction and forestland management; and the state has invested significantly in CAL FIRE for proactive forest health management.
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
- State of California
- Executive order