Agricultural Commissioner to apply for Cal FIRE grant to remove diseased trees and mitigate fire hazards

VENTURA, Calif. – The Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner had submitted a request to Cal FIRE to receive a grant to offset the costs of removal of dead and diseased trees throughout the County. In recent years, the infestation of Invasive Shot Hole Borers in area trees have resulted in infected trees – either weakening them or causing them to die – presenting an increased fire hazard to already dry vegetation during the traditional fire season. The grant, which assists with the removal and disposal of infected trees is available in the amount of $596,064.

“This grant is critical for our county as we have suffered through significant wildfires in the last three years”, said Ed Williams, Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner. “The funding will provide support to help detect infected trees, prevent future infestation, and support suppression or cure efforts. This is a significant step to help support wildfire prevention and suppression.”

The Invasive Shot Hole Borer is a wood-boring beetle that attacks many tree species in Southern California. Trees both within urban and wildland environments are susceptible to the infestation. The State of California has provided $5 million to Cal FIRE to support counties in the removal of dead or diseased trees in an effort to mitigate increasing fire hazards across the state. A majority of the funding available has been offered to eight counties, of which Ventura County is included. 

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