The City of Chino Hills, a member of the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA), has received $565,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding to support a fuel reduction project that will reduce the potential for wildfires. The money was approved as part of the federal government’s spending bill, which includes local projects requested by their legislative representatives. The project was supported by U.S. Representative Young Kim, who represents California’s 39th Congressional District which includes Chino Hills, and U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, who represent California.
“We are very thankful to our elected officials for all of their leadership to bring funding to our city,” said Chino Hills Mayor Ray Marquez. “While our community enjoys an enhanced quality of life through the preservation of over 3,000 acres of open space in our city, wildfires are always a concern. Our residents’ safety, health, and, in many cases, lives depend on our ability to protect them from the destructive paths of wildfires.”
“I am proud to be able to deliver federal funding that will directly support the Chino Hills fuel reduction project,” said Rep. Young Kim. “This is an important initiative to protect open space and keep residents safe from wildfires by removing fuel hazards near residential areas. I am grateful to the City of Chino Hills for working with me to assess the need for the project and get it through the finish line in Congress. As a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I will continue to work to prevent and contain wildfires and promote public safety.”
Chino Hills has approximately 3,350 acres of city-owned open space and is adjacent to the more than 14,000-acre Chino Hills State Park. All these areas are vulnerable to wildfires. The city will use the FEMA funding to enhance its citywide fuel reduction project that reduces the potential for wildfires by removing fuel hazards near residential communities. The funding will allow the city to supplement its annual weed abatement efforts with a program that enlarges defensible space and removes dead and declining plant material in the landscaped buffer zones between the city’s habitable structures and its hillsides vulnerable to wildfire. In addition, the project will use environmentally friendly techniques that are cost-effective and will result in long-term greenhouse gas reductions.
Risks from wildfires remain a constant threat for many communities across California. In 2021/2022, Californians experienced another dry winter, which increases wildfire risks. High winds and low fuel moisture combined with excessive dead and declining vegetation significantly increase the chances of wildfire in our communities. The California JPIA recommends that public agencies minimize wildfire exposures that threaten personnel safety, property loss, and continuity of operations.
Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 120 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at cjpia.org.