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SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation Monday that would establish the California Wildfire Warning Center, a statewide network of automated weather and environmental monitoring stations conducting fire-weather forecasting and threat assessment to aid in wildfire prevention and response.

“Extreme weather driven by climate change is responsible for some of the worst disasters ever experienced by this state,” said Dodd. “My bill will help identify dangerous wind and weather conditions before wildfires break out, allowing time to de-activate power lines and pre-position resources. It’s the kind of statewide, early-warning system California needs to prevent future disasters and save lives.”

Senate Bill 209 creates the California Wildfire Warning Center (CWWC) to be overseen by three agencies: The California Public Utilities Commission, the office of Emergency Services and Cal Fire. It builds on existing systems and will be responsible for the ongoing monitoring of fire weather and threat conditions, as well as for ongoing improvement of fire forecasting models. The CWWC will work with investor-owned utilities, which will be required to install weather-monitoring equipment throughout their systems.

“The recent wildfires that devastated communities like Napa have cast an urgent need to be better prepared locally and statewide,” said Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza. 

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.