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Supervisors OK $24M Wildfire Home Hardening Program for 3 Rural Communities


Bill Bozarth climbs a ladder to install an ember-resistant vent at a San Diego County home. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

County supervisors Tuesday voted 5-0 in favor of a $24 million grant program in which eligible residents in three communities can apply for funds to help them better protect their homes in wildfire-prone areas.

Those living in Campo, Dulzura and Potrero can apply for up to $40,000 to purchase fire-resistant materials and improve their defensible space between now and 2024, according to board Chairman Nathan Fletcher’s office.

Households considered “socially vulnerable,” or qualify as low- or moderate-income, will be prioritized for these grant dollars, according to Fletcher’s office.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Fletcher said the grant “has the potential to be very significant for the region,” in terms of wildfire protection.

According to the county, San Diego County Fire — in collaboration with the state’s Office of Emergency Services, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection — was selected to receive $24 million, as part of the pilot California Wildfire Home Hardening Program.

Ninety percent of the program’s funding comes from the Federal Emergency Management Administration, with the state providing the rest.

“As a county we have made investments in more staffing and equipment, but directly providing residents with the ability to protect their homes and loved ones is one of the most gratifying ways we can keep San Diegans safe,” Fletcher said.

City News Service contributed to this article.



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