This report outlines steps that the state of California must take to reduce the incidence and severity of wildfires, including the significant wildfire mitigation and resiliency efforts that the state government has already proposed. It also identifies actions to hold utilities accountable for their behavior, and discusses potential changes to stabilize California’s utilities to meet the energy needs of customers and the economy.
To accomplish these steps, it is critical that the state:
- Expand fire prevention activity by improving forest and vegetation management, accelerating fuel reduction projects on both public and private land, investing in new technologies to model and monitor fire risk, and strengthening utility oversight so that they invest more in safety.
- Make communities more resilient by considering updating codes that govern defensible space, encouraging cost-effective hardening of homes, and improving land use practices to reduce the damage to life and property from wildfires.
- Invest in fire suppression and response by investing in new fire engines and aircraft, re-deploying National Guard personnel from the border to support fire suppression initiatives, purchasing detection cameras to provide advanced data to firefighters, and investing in a statewide mutual aid system to pre-position resources in high-risk areas.
- Call on the Federal Government to Better Manage Federal Forest Land.
This report also explores allocating responsibility for wildfire costs, strengthening utility market regulation, and holding Pacific Gas & Electric accountable for safety.