(KTXL) — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $15 billion climate package as thousands of firefighters continue to battle major wildfires across the state.
The signing happened at the Sequoia National Park, which experienced its worst fire in over 130 years due to a lightning strike.
“Since 2020, six of the seven largest wildfires have occurred in California history. Our kids are going to inherit a world with 8-degree higher temperatures than they have today,” Newsom said. “We’re on that path.”
Assembly Bill 170 includes the largest investment in California wildfire and forest resiliency at $1.5 billion, $5.2 billion for drought relief and more than $3 billion in building resilience against multi-faceted climate risks. Newsom also wants $3.9 billion to get more electric cars on California roads as part of a zero-emission vehicle package.
“It will be dominantly one of the principal drivers of economic growth and equity in the state of California as we detoxify our air and clean up our water at the same time,” Newsom said.
Supporters also tout the bill’s commitment to allocating $915 million over the next two years to climate-smart agricultural programs and $500 million to small water supplies and urban water management agencies.
“There’s a lot more that we’ll need to do in the future, but we are really scaling-up our efforts,” Asm. Richard Bloom said.
While the KNP Complex Fire burns with 0% containment, Newsom urges Californians to take the extreme environmental changes seriously.
“Climate is not just about degrees. It’s not just about decarbonization. It’s about tradition,” Newsom said “It’s about lifestyles. It’s about memories quite literally being wiped off the map, and with that, let’s sign.”
So far, 7,618 wildfires have burned 2.3 million acres in California.