Story Corps

photo credit: Courtesy Fire Safe Sonoma

Local agencies and nonprofits are set to receive various windfall payouts following Sonoma County settlement with PG&E over the Kincaid Fire.  One of the recipients is Fire Safe Sonoma.

Fire Safe Sonoma has been working on coordination and securing grants for local fire prevention efforts for 25 years.

The nonprofit's president, Roberta MacIntyre, said the organization’s role is to aid community fire prevention efforts.

"Our fundamental mission is to provide outreach and education to anybody working in this space of wildland fire risk reduction, to provide assistance with writing grants assistance, with getting organizations up and running assistance with getting their first community risk assessment. Oftentimes in the form of a community wildfire protection plan." MacIntyre said.

Slated to get a one million dollar payout from the settlement announced on April 11th, MacIntyre said some of the money will be used to sustain Fire Safe Sonoma’s current work.

"I was asked by the district attorney's office. If you could get funded for five years, you know, what are some of the things you could do? And really it amounts to, we need funding to continue the work we're already doing. And that would cost us about a hundred thousand a year." MacIntyre said.

MacIntyre said $100,000 per year will also go towards addressing fire prevention needs in the county.

"We're planning on using the county's community wildfire protection plan. That's under rewrite right now. So we'll look at the recommends in that document and do the best we can to point money towards things that will answer some of the questions, comments, issues that evolve out of that." MacIntyre said.

Of the controversial settlement itself, MacIntyre praised the District Attorney’s securing funds for programs including Fire Safe Sonoma, Santa Rosa Junior College’s fire safety education programs, Conservation Corps North Bay, and Meals on Wheels.

"Kudos to the district attorney's office for handling this settlement the way they did think it was brilliant for how they pointed the funds in the direction that they did." MacIntyre said.

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