Here’s what we all know. California has been on fire for years. Its fire season went from a few months to many. A very active wildfire season is expected again this summer. Under the active participation of California Governor Gavin Newsom, the state was prepared to spend several billion dollars on fire prevention.
Among the plans were those to make homes and communities more resistant to wildfire. Also in the planning is dollars for new and better trained fire fighting crews and a faster emergency response system.
None of that is likely to happen now because the state has a projected $54 billion deficit because of lost revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alexandra Syphard is a fire scientist at Sage Underwriters. She said this is an awful setback. "Obviously COVID has been a shame on so many different levels. We were ramping up to provide what I believe is one of the most progressive and important investments in terms of fire risk that there could be,” she said.
The biggest loss in the deficit is Newsom’s plan to invest $100 million in communities. Those dollars are to help owners replace roofs and make their homes more fireproof.
“Most homes are not burned by fires just marching up to them and burning them down,” Syphard said. “Most are destroyed because the fires are occurring during really high wind conditions and there tend to be these burning embers that can fly kilometers ahead of the fire front. And it's these burning embers that tend to get into all the little nooks and crannies of a house.”
Source link: NPR