It was announced last week that the city of Willows was recently awarded more than $745,000 from a Cal Fire Wildfire Protection Grant for the Willows Hazardous Fuels Reduction project. 

According to Willows Fire Chief Nathan Monck, these funds will ensure that the department has the proper reduction and disposal of hazardous fuels in the area along with the safest possible weed abatement efforts for the 2023-2025 fire seasons. 

“These grant funds will reimburse the city of Willows for weed abatement and other various hazardous fuels reduction, along with fire prevention efforts for the next three years including: $298,000 in salaries, $87,000 in employee benefits, $120,000 in mandated abatement costs, $60,000 in prescribed fire operations, $27,000 in office expenses, $66,000 in indirect administrative costs, and $80,000 for a new fire department staff vehicle,” said Monck. “The new staff vehicle will replace a 2002 Chevrolet pick-up truck that is unreliable, expensive to maintain, and no longer serviceable for fire department operations.”

The funding will also shift the costs of weed abatement, hazardous fuels reduction and other related fire prevention activities from the city of Willows while retaining all of the benefits of these services, according to Monck, and will allow the Willows Fire Department to provide these services at an extremely reduced cost to taxpayers. 

“It is vital that the city of Willows be protected from wildfire threats, especially due to the critical infrastructure located within its jurisdiction,” said Monck. “Willows is home to the only acute care hospital in the county, the Glenn County Jail, a law enforcement dispatch center, and other key governmental and private infrastructures.” 

Monck said the grant was authored by Willows Fire Department career staff, who appreciate the continued support from this community. 

“The funds provided by this grant will be extremely helpful in the Willows Fire Department’s mission to protect life, property and environment for the citizens of the city of Willows and the Willows Rural Fire Protection District,” said Monck. “The Willows Fire Department is committed to aggressively seeking grant funding and other outside revenue sources to ensure that the taxpayers in the city of Willows and the Willows Rural Fire Protection District receive the service they deserve with the limited number of resources available.”

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