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Congressman Raul Ruiz

Representing the 36th District of California

Dr. Ruiz, Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council Announce $200,000 Grant for Wildfire Prevention

December 19, 2018
Press Release

Today, Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert) and the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council announced a $200,000 grant to improve wildfire prevention and fire safety education in communities throughout the San Jacinto Mountains. Over the next two years, the grant will fund a program to remove hazardous fuels from private property and educate local residents about fire safety.

“I have seen houses and property saved during the Cranston Fire as a result of Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council’s educational outreach and fuel reduction projects. I am proud to have helped the MCFSC earn this grant award,” said Dr. Ruiz. “The Cranston Fire demonstrated how quickly wildfires can spread, and groups like MCFSC are helping our communities prevent wildfires before they endanger local residents. As these fires grow in size and frequency, I will continue to work with MCFSC to bring home necessary resources to help prevent fires and keep my constituents safe.”

“Many of the people coming to live in the mountains know very little of the forest environment and its relationship with wildland fire. The protection of life and property in a rural community as it relates to wildland fire depends largely on continuous forest fuels reduction done by the local property owners,” said Pete Coy, Field Supervisor for the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council. “The grant funding that we receive is used to help educate these property owners and to give them incentive to make their homes and their community as fire safe as possible.”

Background

Earlier this month, the Mountain Communities Fire Safety Council was awarded a grant from the California Fire Safe Council, which allocates federal funds from the U.S. Forest Service for fire prevention and response. The $200,000 grant will help fund a new program that educates residents of Idyllwild and the surrounding communities about fire safety, in addition to funding the removal of dead trees, brush, and overgrowth from private property. These services will be publicly available and entirely free to local homeowners.

The Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council was formed in 2001 to improve responsible forest management, provide firewood to the needy, and educate residents about fire safety. MCFSC largely consists of volunteers – including former firefighters – who help local communities prevent and manage wildfires threatening densely forested areas in the San Jacinto mountains.

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