California Fire Safe Council receives a grant from Edison International

Bianca Cacciola, Reporter

Edison International Wildfire Assistance Fund, the parent company of Southern California Edison, awarded the California Fire Safe Council (CFSC) with a $500,000 grant to help the efforts of existing Fire Safe Councils in California while also establishing new ones.

“In addition to our Edison Wildfire Assistance Fund efforts to start and strengthen Fire Safe Councils, this generation and timely donations will enable CFSC to provide eight more Edison International Fire-Safe Community Grants, bringing the total to twenty grants to Southern California communities in SCE’s service area. These grants will help these communities prepare for catastrophic wildfire while exemplifying efforts to create safer communities,” said Tracy Katelman, CFSC Executive Director in a press release.

This grant will help facilitate seven new Fire Safe Councils (FSC) in Southern California Edison service area communities, produce new hardened homes and defensible space brochures varied in at least five different languages, broadcasting statewide messages from local FSCs and CFSCs, and creating books that provide guidelines for starting FSCs.

“We are excited to launch this new corporate funding model and hope to replicate it with other California-based companies,” according to Amber Gardener, CFSC Clearinghouse Manager.

This new grant is in addition to a previous $250,000 award given earlier in 2018 that provided 12 fire-safe community organizations with the funds for fire prevention and preparedness projects.

“The threat of catastrophic wildfires is a reality for all Californians and helping our communities prepare is vitally important. At Edison, we continue our work to mitigate the risk of wildfire through operations and community involvement. Education is key, and the partnership with the California Fire Safe Council will help keep our underserved communities more resilient,” said to Caroline Choi, Edison International, and Southern California Edison senior vice president of Corporate Affairs, in a press release.

The California Fire Safe Council was established in 1933 as a project by CAL FIRE, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention. This project brought together organizations and officials to ensure that orders were in place to provide safety for the communities in California. In the beginning development, CFSC took initiative and helped in reducing hazardous fuel waste and created defensible working spaces for all local individuals and organizations partnered with the project.

“With the threat of wildfire looming ever-larger for many California communities, CFSC is redoubling its efforts to build strong local and countywide Fire Safe Councils, and lead efforts in community wildfire preparedness, education, and mitigation to build fire-adapted communities throughout California,” according to the CFSC website.

In addition, CFSC has also provided support for the community Fire Safe Councils throughout California and other prevention groups, assisting them with technical support, and in education with wildfire and organizational issues on capacity building and sustainability. The CFSC has encouraged the people in California to prepare their property and spread the word of prevention in the communities for more than 25 years. With the grant money awarded, wildfire prevention will continue to be prominent throughout the state of California.