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CORE Receives $2.3 Million from the Fire Safe Council of Siskiyou County for a Multiyear Wildfire Prevention Program 

LOS ANGELES – June 2024 CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) has received a $2.3 million subgrant from the Fire Safe Council of Siskiyou County (FSCSC) for a five-year project that will see $10 million go to support community resilience and preparedness. Working with the FSCSC, CORE will conduct thorough home assessments, implement vital fuel clearing, and provide crucial public outreach, including in-depth education sessions, across all 29 communities of Siskiyou County. 


In July 2022, the McKinney Fire, primarily fueled by extreme drought conditions and an oppressive heat dome, spread across Siskiyou County, charring 60,000 acres, destroying 118 homes, and claiming four lives. As California and the rest of the world grapple with the worsening effects of climate change, devastating events like the McKinney Fire will increase in frequency and intensity. CORE is determined to empower communities, helping them mitigate the impact of future climate-fueled disasters.


In Siskiyou County, CORE will conduct home assessments for those living in high-risk locations, identifying areas of opportunity for home hardening or ways to make a property more fire-resistant. To accomplish this, CORE will complete defensible space work on roughly 500 homes, clearing away dangerous and often flammable foliage and debris. 

CORE staff members clearing gutters and creating defensible space around a home in Siskiyou County.

CORE team members help create defensible fire space for a property in Siskiyou County. (Photo by CORE)

CORE staff set up outside the post office in Siskiyou county, providing information about assistance to community members.

CORE staff responded to the McKinney Fire in 2022, working with the Incident Management Team to keep residents informed, provide shelter support, and create defensible space. (Photo by CORE)

CORE plans to identify and prioritize areas for fuel reduction, including roadsides for fuel breaks, to create safe ingress and egress for firefighters, emergency personnel, and residents. This portion of the project will clear 50 feet on either side of certain roads and potentially clear out 300 acres in other selected areas.


CORE will further focus on community outreach, informing residents about the defensible space and fuel-clearing programs. During this outreach, CORE will disseminate information about the local emergency alert system and assist residents with sign-up and registration. CORE aims to distribute go-bags and educate the public on disaster-ready supplies and storage, preparation steps, and local wildfire evacuation procedures to ensure that the 29 Siskiyou County communities are well-prepared for future wildfire disasters. 


“CORE is proud of the work we are doing and will be doing in Siskiyou County, and we are grateful for the Fire Safe Council of Siskiyou County. The reality is natural disasters will worsen globally, including dangerous wildfires,” said Nina Knierim, CORE’s Area Manager for California Programs. “We’re determined to empower communities, like those in Siskiyou County, to have a plan and be better prepared for whatever will come their way.”

About CORE

Founded after the 2010 Haiti earthquake by Sean Penn and Ann Lee, CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a global humanitarian organization that empowers underserved communities in and beyond crisis. CORE’s community-powered work is informed and fueled by local hands. When crisis strikes, we listen, we learn, and we act to quickly fill gaps, mobilize resources, and develop long-term recovery solutions. With a focus on equity, CORE provides critical relief to marginalized and vulnerable people, from the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and conflict in Ukraine to flood-impacted villages in Pakistan and beyond. Learn more about CORE’s work at www.coreresponse.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube, and LinkedIn.