Three fire hazard reduction programs around the county are each receiving $30,000 to keep up their efforts this year following last week’s award by the Trinity County Board of Supervisors of Title III funding from the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000.
Recipients include the Weaverville Fire District to continue its fuel hazard reduction program; the Trinity County Resource Conservation District to continue its Trinity County Fire Safe Council coordination and implementation; and the Watershed Research and Training Center of Hayfork for its Trinity Pines and Hyampom neighborhood fuels reduction project.
The remainder of available Title III funds, $9,991, was set aside for reimbursement of future search and rescue or firefighting efforts performed on federal lands.
Title III funds may only be used by the county to carry out activities under the Firewise Communities program to educate and assist homeowners in protecting people and property from wildfires; reimburse for search and rescue and other emergency services performed on federal land after the date on which the use was approved; and to develop community wildfire protection plans.
The three projects awarded funding last week were advertised for the required 45-day period and the board’s vote in favor was unanimous.
However, District 4 Sup. Bill Burton said he will continue to fight for a requested $900 reimbursement to the Salyer Fire Department for its volunteers’ assistance in a rescue/recovery effort that occurred in the Trinity River.
“We don’t want any of our volunteer fire departments out there looking down the river and wondering who will pay for the ropes,” Burton said.
County Counsel Margaret Long said the Salyer Department’s request was not an eligible use of the Title III funds because it related to a prior year’s incident. The issue led to this year’s approval of a set-aside for reimbursement of future search, rescue or emergency assistance that may be rendered.