Sonoma County has been awarded $5.7 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help mitigate wildfires.
The funding is part of a first round of grants awarded through FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, which awarded a total of $37 million to Sonoma County, according to a news release from Bradley Dunn, policy manager for Permit Sonoma.
The federal grant requires a 25 percent local match, which Dunn said the county will fund through settlement funds from PG&E, bringing the total wildfire prevention funding to $48.8 million as part of the Wildfire Resilient Sonoma County program.
“We are at a turning point as a community,” Board of Supervisors Chair James Gore said in a statement. “We have invested historic funds locally toward fire resilience, and these federal matching dollars will help us dig in deeper.”
The program will help the county make certain structures more fireproof through structure hardening, creating defensible space, and vegetation management in three areas: Larkfield-Wikiup/Mark West Creek, Guernewood-Guernville-Rio Nido, and Penngrove/Sonoma Mountain, according to the news release.
More than 300,000 acres burned in Sonoma County between 2017 and 2020, destroying about 7,000 structures and killing 24 people.