Santa Rosa adopts wildfire protection plan to guide work against future fire risk

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Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat

With lightning-sparked fires burning in Sonoma County and across the North Bay, Santa Rosa on Tuesday advanced a four-year effort to prepare for wildfires, with officials touting a completed plan as a key tool to draw funding to underwrite work to curb future wildland fire risks.

The City Council voted unanimously to adopt a community wildfire protection plan, a document crafted by other jurisdictions to brace for an increasingly volatile California fire season. The city started the planning effort in 2016, fought for grant funding before and after the 2017 fires, secured the project funding in 2019 and finished the plan in May, said Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal, who has been working with Cal Fire on the Walbridge firefight in northwestern Sonoma County.

That fire, still mostly uncontained and hundreds of other lightning-sparked blazes, have burned hundreds of thousands of acres across California in just the past week, punctuating the latest in a series of intensifying wildfire seasons across the state.

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