The Forest Health Program addresses the risk to California’s forests from extreme disturbance events including catastrophic wildfires, drought, and pest mortality. These events are the result of climate change, forest overcrowding, past land management practices, and an increasing number of people living in the wildland and urban interface.

The objective of the CAL FIRE Forest Health Program is to conserve forests and improve forest health by significantly increasing fuels reduction, fire reintroduction, treatment of degraded areas and conservation of threatened forests with landscape-scale projects developed and led by regionally-based efforts. 

Our Program at Work

After the Valley Fire destroyed Harbin Hot Springs near Middletown, CAL FIRE's Forest Health Program saw a unique opportunity to restore the land and protect the community. 

CAL FIRE's Forest Health Program has funded dozens of projects around the state since 2015


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Forest Health Project Examples

Fuels Reduction

Grantee:    Mariposa County Resource Conservation District
FY 18/19 Grant Amount:  $2,068,465
Acres of Fuel Reduction:  3,660
Tons of Biomass:  38,448
GHG Benefit (MT CO2e):  38,953    

Forest resilience treatments helped to save the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park from the Washburn Fire in July of 2022. A partnership that includes the Mariposa County Resource Conservation District, the National Park Service and local Tribal Forest crews had completed important fuels reduction work that reduced the fire’s severity and helped firefighters protect the invaluable trees. Grant activities included removal of roadside hazard and downed trees, fuels reduction, and transportation of the woody debris to local biomass facilities.

Cultural Burning & Fuels Reduction

Grantee:    Humboldt County Resource Conservation District
FY 19/20 Grant Amount:  $4,315,392
Acres of Fuel Reduction:  1,159
Acres of Prescribed Burn:  1,313
GHG Benefit (MT CO2e):  57,625

Humboldt County Resource Conservation District is working with the Yurok Tribe and Western Rivers Conservancy to implement forest management activities on 2,400 acres of Yurok ancestral lands. The collaborative project will reduce fuel loads, retain the healthiest and largest trees, allow the return of cultural burning to the landscape, improve wildlife and fisheries habitat, and create employment opportunities for Yurok Tribe members. Read More

Tribal Workforce Forest Restoration

Grantee:    Fire Safe Council of San Diego
FY 19/20 Grant Amount:  $4,994,675
Acres of Fuel Reduction:  1,059
Number of Trees Planted:  41,475
GHG Benefit (MT CO2e): 60,895

The Fire Safe Council of San Diego County, in partnership with the Pauma Band of Luiseño Mission Indians, La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, Cleveland National Forest, and CalTech’s Palomar Mountain Observatory, is performing fuels reduction, pest management, and forest restoration across 1,600 acres on Palomar Mountain – one of San Diego County’s last mixed conifer forest landscapes. The project is providing multiple training avenues for Tribal youth and other Tribal members by engaging them in monitoring and implementation activities. Read More

Contact the Forest Health Program