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river fireRiver Fire - August 19, 2020. Photo by J.T. Lewis

Since November 2018, the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County (RCDMC) Fire and Fuels Mitigation Program (FFMP) has assisted with grant funding and coordination for fuels projects, fire infrastructure and natural resources mapping, prescribed burning and wildfire prevention outreach in Monterey County.  The program is managed by Forest Health Coordinator Jamie Tuitele-Lewis who is working with local agencies, groups and interested stakeholders to direct over $7.2 million dollars in fire prevention and forest health funding to projects benefitting Monterey County. The program also has been instrumental in assisting other local groups with work that includes promoting prescribed burning, mapping and defensible space. Additional funding for forest health and fuels reduction work has also been awarded from the California Department of Conservation and the State Coastal Conservancy to plan, coordinate and implement natural resource work that reduces carbon emissions. Key projects include:

Wildfires: Information and assistance programs

California is no stranger to fire. Fire is in fact a natural process that needs to occur in many different vegetation communities throughout the state for them to establish and thrive. However, the intensity and scale of these wildfires have increased over the last few decades due to historic management regimes, climate change and the increasing presence of humans living in forested or wildland areas that are prone to wildfires. Monterey County currently has two programs to assist landowners, farmers and ranchers who have been impacted by wildfires.

  • The Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) is offered through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for people who are facing imminent threats to their property and/or lives resulting from post-fire conditions on the land. Residents owning property are eligible; the work done must benefit more than one landowner and will be done in the most environmentally and economically feasible way possible. For more information about the EWP, contact Forest Health Coordinator Jamie Tuitele-Lewis.
  • The Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), offered through the Farm Services Agency (FSA), benefits farmers and ranchers in Monterey County. This program can help producers recover some costs in replacing burned infrastructure, such as water tanks, troughs, pipes, fencing and other items damaged in a wildfire or other natural disasters. For more information about the ECP, contact USDA Monterey County FSA County Director Vivian Soffa.


 Wildfire Information 

Post-Fire Assistance 

Contact Information

Resource Conservation District of Monterey County 
Jamie Tuitele-Lewis
Forest Health Coordinator, RCDMC
744-A LaGuardia St., Salinas, 93905
Contact: Jamie Tuitele-Lewis
Natural Resources Conservation Service Local Service Center
744 La Guardia St, Bldg A
Salinas, CA 93905-3354
(831) 424-7377
USDA Farm Services Agency
Salinas Service Center
744 LA Guardia St Bldg A
Salinas, CA 93905-3354
(831) 424-7377
Contact: Vivian Soffa

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