The Cambrian

Cambria fire grant application clears first hurdle

Groups working to get grant money for reducing fire danger in Cambria and its Monterey pine forest report that their application for two greenhouse-gas reduction grants have made it through the first cut and have been invited to participate in a second round of applications.

The grant money would come from the state’s hazardous fuel reduction fund, according Fire Chief Mark Miller and Dan Turner, former county fire chief and current business manager for the county’s Fire Safe Council.

Miller said one grant application asks for about $1.2 million, in part for a temporary co-generation plant to help dispose of the huge amount of wood expected to accumulate after dead trees are taken down and fallen trees are removed. 

He said the second application requested about $900,000 for countywide fire-reduction work.

The deadline for the second round is June 10. Turner said Cal Fire extended that deadline so potential grantees can refine their methods for calculating reduction of greenhouse gases. 

Turner told Miller in an email that the council “is working with a faculty team at Cal Poly on baseline data and scientific measurement-based” calculations of greenhouse-gas reductions. “One of these professors specializes in forestry biometrics and carbon sequestration studies, another in forest health, a third is a forest economist and the last is a fire and fuel specialist.” Turner added, “There is not a stronger scientific team in California.