Written by Thomas Geiser
California wildfires are destructive and expensive, the most recent Carr Fire killed eight people, burned 200,000 acres, and cost roughly $1.6 billion. These devastating forces of nature periodically sweep through the state causing enormous amounts of damage.
Dealing with these fires costs huge sums of money but that is because they are trying to fight the fire after it has already started. The most effective way to deal with these wildfires is to prevent them from ever happening.
To that effect, recent legislation proposed by Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron would create a General Fund to provide assistance to country road maintenance departments and local fire departments in the form of new equipment for clearing excess vegetation. Excess vegetation is fuel for these large wildfires and is a dangerous obstacle for motorists trying to escape the wildfires.
This bill, AB 19, is supported by the California Fire Chiefs Association, the Rural County Representatives of California, the City of San Marcos, the San Diego County Fire Districts Association, and many other similar organizations.
Democrats have been throwing a fit over climate change and climate issues for a long time now, but for some reason they are unwilling to propose any kind of actionable legislation. Their solutions to climate problems are broad, sweeping legislation like the Green New Deal. That type of legislation sets these lofty goals without offering reasonable solutions to reach those goals.
AB 19 exemplifies the Republican approach to climate change, incremental but workable changes. Assemblywoman Waldron, unlike the Democrats, understands that change does not need to happen all at once. By removing the excess vegetation, the risk of large wildfires is decreased and Californians can rest easy for a few more years.
As of January 13, the bill has been unanimously passed by the Natural Resources Committee and is now heading to the Appropriations Committee.