October 4, 2023


Fidel Tupul, left, makes use of a chainsaw to chop useless branches within the Mt. Tamalpais watershed close to Sky Oaks Street in Fairfax on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. He was on a crew contracted by the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority to cut back hearth fuels close to residences.(Alan Dep/Marin Unbiased Journal) 

A activity drive commissioned by Gov. Gavin Newsom has unveiled a brand new on-line instrument that it says will present a first-of-its-kind map exhibiting all forest and hearth prevention work accomplished in California.

Following the harmful wildfires skilled throughout the state this previous decade, a mess of businesses has ramped up hearth prevention initiatives on public lands and forests in an effort to stop future disasters.

Till now, state officers stated there has not been a easy solution to monitor the collective work that has been completed up to now.

Patrick Wright, director of Newsom’s California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Activity Power, stated giving these businesses and communities a greater understanding of labor that has taken place to date will help them coordinate initiatives that cowl bigger areas in comparison with particular person initiatives.

The dashboard and map are at present in a beta model with plans so as to add extra information and launch the ultimate model in spring 2024. Customers are capable of click on on particular person factors on the map to see what number of acres have been handled, who carried out the work, when a mission was accomplished and the kind of therapies that have been carried out, whether or not it’s prescribed hearth and hand instruments.

Wright stated that one of many functions of this on-line instrument is to assist foster multiagency partnerships, equivalent to Marin County’s One Tam collaborative, to steer hearth prevention and environmental work all through the state. One Tam is a collaboration of the Nationwide Park Service, California State Parks, the Marin Municipal Water District, Marin County Parks and Golden Gate Nationwide Parks Conservancy to coordinate initiatives to guard lands on and surrounding Mount Tamalpais.

“The importance of the monitoring system is it’ll facilitate extra giant panorama collaborative efforts like One Tam,” Wright stated. “You should have the information now on what everyone seems to be doing. So as an alternative of getting in Marin County a neighborhood hearth district submit a grant, the county submit a grant and so forth, you possibly can submit an enormous grant by a number of businesses to transition from project-by-project work to landscape-level work.”

The Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority is among the native businesses that administers property tax funds for hearth prevention initiatives in Marin. The authority’s govt officer, Mark Brown, stated a advantage of this new state map is it might assist present the state the place the necessity is for additional grant funding.

“With the ability to share information throughout the state is effective in order that we are able to all perceive what we’re doing and the way it connects with one another,” Brown stated.

One of many challenges within the state’s effort is that many businesses, particularly native businesses, would not have the bandwidth to create geographical data system information, generally known as GIS. The hearth authority lately signed a contract with the Inexperienced Data Community to start accumulating this GIS information of fireplace prevention work in Marin, which might be exported to the state’s tracker.

Danny Franco, senior mission supervisor with the Golden Gate Nationwide Parks Conservancy nonprofit group, stated One Tam has already been working to create regional-level information on public lands on and surrounding Mount Tamalpais. The result’s a brand new report launched in August detailing the well being of 118,000 acres of forestland and $20 million price of advisable initiatives to revive forest well being and forestall fires.

“The dashboard that the duty drive has developed may be very a lot according to the forms of instruments we’ve been growing regionally to help cross-jurisdictional and landscape-level initiatives,” Franco stated.

Wright stated the state is aiming to make quarterly updates to the map and situation annual stories on the work that takes place.