January 8, 2021 - SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, on Thursday, announced legislation to promote the research and development of new technology to prevent and respond to California’s ever-increasing wildfires.
“The escalating frequency and devastation caused by wildfires demands that we seek out emerging technology to address this urgent threat,” Sen. Dodd said. “My proposal will help develop advancements and tap innovation from the public and private sectors. It will allow us to work smarter to protect life and property.”
Seventeen of the 20 largest wildfires in California history have occurred since 2000, with six of the seven largest wildfires occurring in 2020 alone. Collectively, the fires have claimed hundreds of lives and caused tens of billions of dollars in damage. Wildfire response costs have strained state and local finances.
Senate Bill 109, introduced Wednesday, calls for creation of the Office of Wildfire Technology Research and Development under the auspices of the California Office of Emergency Services. It would identify more effective ways to address wildfires, studying, testing and advising state and local agencies on new tools and techniques to prevent and suppress them. It would also serve as a central hub for promising, new ideas.
Sen. Dodd has been a leading advocate for wildfire safety during his time in the Legislature, writing more than a dozen new laws to improve prevention and response. He has been a champion of innovation, authoring the 2019 bill that established the state’s Wildfire Forecast and Threat Intelligence Integration Center to enhance California’s ability to predict and prepare for wildfires.
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.
Source: Senator Bill Dodd