Chevron Corporation said it has donated $500,000 to California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, CAL FIRE, to help pay down the state’s cost of battling more than 2,000 forest fires that tore through the state this past summer.
The fires engulfed nearly 1.2 million acres across the state this year, several times the annual average. The blazes drew responses from CAL FIRE firefighters as well as local crews and other volunteers.
"On behalf of the people of California, I offer Chevron my sincere thanks for its generous donation to support our state’s firefighting efforts in the face of one of the most difficult and costly fire seasons in history," California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said. "California has the most courageous and best-trained firefighters in the world, and we must ensure they are equipped with the resources needed to protect our communities. The cooperation during this year’s fires has been fantastic, and I am pleased to see private support because as Californians, we are all in this situation together."
Chevron Vice Chairman Peter Robertson said Chevron, as a California-based company, is “grateful for the courage and determination of California firefighters who put themselves at risk to protect our state and its resources
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection protects more than 31 million acres of California’s privately owned wildlands from fire. The Department’s firefighters respond to an average of more than 5,600 wildland fires each year. Those fires burn more than 172,000 acres annually.
"I am pleased with this demonstration of Chevron’s commitment to public safety and partnership with CAL FIRE," said Chief Ruben Grijalva. "Wildfires and other disasters strike California all too often. With support from public and private organizations, such as Chevron, CAL FIRE stands ready to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters that may impact all Californians. Chevron’s demonstration of corporate responsibility serves as a great example of public/private partnerships within California’s emergency response community."
Chevron’s other recent assistance to the state was in October 2007, when a $500,000 grant from the Chevron Foundation helped support relief efforts in the Southern California wildfires. In that instance, Chevron also provided 20,000 bottles of water, 11,500 meals and dispatched a firefighting team and engine from its Richmond Refinery.
To further support fire safety and prevention, Chevron is planning to introduce a fire truck as its next Chevron Toy Car with packaging that will include fire safety tips for children.