Shannon discussed on All Things Considered

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The next decade is it to be like but to be understood Shannon bonds NPR news San Francisco you're listening to All Things Considered from NPR news a wildfire erupted last night in Los Angeles lighting up hills still scarred by another blues just few years ago after so many devastating wildfires in recent years California was set to spend more than a billion dollars to prepare for future fires which are expected to get worse in a warming climate but with the pandemic much of that spending is on hold NPR's Lauren Sommer reports on initiatives facing cuts bill CV is one of those California homeowners who got a wildfire wake up call he's came when the angora fire burned within a few miles of a south Lake Tahoe home in two thousand seven that was very devastating loss I don't know a hundred some odd owns so after that he did something mundane but crucial in fire country come out here via video chat he shows me his new roofs so it's a fire retardant shingle his old roof was made of wood shingles which can easily catch members that are blown head of wild fires occur in the mounds of wood shingle roof is another name for a matchbook which is why the local fire agency helped pay for CBS new roof the lake valley fire protection district got a grant from FEMA to help replace hundreds of wood roofs it covered seventy percent of CV's cost great mentioned that some friends up in north of Tahoe and they were not for that program California wants to offer that program across the state with millions of homes at risk in January governor Gavin Newsom announced one hundred million dollars to help homeowners make their homes more fire resistant but then it goes without saying that these are not ordinary times and the ten Democrats aided a massive budget shortfall so new some proposed cutting the wood roof program also tabled were two other major funds to help communities prepare for all sorts of climate change impacts that includes a billion dollars in state funding and an almost five billion dollar climate bonds on the November ballot we still don't have the people and equipment we need in this state with the hots getting so much hotter in the dries getting so much drier that problem isn't going away says Alexander suffered a fire scientist at sage underwriters it's really a shame we were ramping up to provide what I believe is one of the most progressive and important investments in terms of fire risk that there could be Seifert says even small fixes to a house can make a big difference like putting mesh screens on attic vents or covering the eaves under a roof things that in particular would prevent embers from penetrating the house are super significant and making a difference between whether home survived a fire or not those kind of long term investments to reduce fire risk are ones that California has historically under spent on they're easy to put off the California secretary for natural resources Wade crowfoot says the recent disasters have made them a priority our residents get it Californians want us actually to do more to protect their communities from the impacts with budget cuts though the state's wildfire spending this year will most likely be going to firefighting and emergency response were staring down the barrel of another intense wildfire season given how dry it was this winter still California like many states is hoping federal stimulus funding will fill in the gaps K. Gordon directs California's office of planning and research there is a moment which this kind of economic disaster creates opportunity for thinking differently about how to build forward not to bounce back but to bounce forward she says many climate change projects our infrastructure projects so federal spending could be a chance for states to avoid falling too far behind Lauren Sommer NPR.

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