California to receive $600 million in wildfire relief funds

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. – More California wildfire relief and recovery funds are on the way.

Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the Federal Government will provide $600 million in disaster money to help California after the record-breaking wildfire season.

This money is part of $1.3 billion used to help local communities around the country clean up any hazardous materials and to restore forests from wildfires.

“I think that funding is great, like everything’s based on money it’s like oxygen. If you don’t have a plan though that will work to fund, then it’s pointless,” Paradise resident Donald Darby said.

Some people told Action News Now the way dead trees are handled needs to be changed to help prevent future fires.

“I think that we need to come together with a better way to log our forests correctly and replanting correctly,” Darby said.

Along with this money, an extra $48 million will also go toward helping create more firebreaks in two national forests in California.

This comes after the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law signed in November set aside $5 billion going toward better preparing for wildfires with reducing any fire fuels like brush and dead trees as well as restoring the forests too.

“It’s such a big problem right now and so many communities have been affected by it and I feel for all of them. What we went through here and what other communities have had to go through. It will definitely be a good thing if we can reduce the risk to other communities,” Chico resident Greg Zucco.

Many people living in fire-stricken communities said they just want to see the forests preserved, and hope this money can help.

“Getting our forests back to what we’ve had will maintain the beauty of Northern California that a majority we’ve already lost, but we can maintain what we have,” Magalia resident Ashley Powers said.

The Forest service will receive an extra $655 million per year for the next 5 years through the infrastructure law to continue to help this process.

The Forest Service also announced a 10-year-plan last week to quadruple their treatment on reducing fire fuels in the Western U.S.