By Riamy Beuscher, communications intern

Tree with dead branches.The ongoing drought has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dead and dying trees across California. Cal Fire has responded to more than 5,700 wildfires this year alone – an increase of 23 percent from last year. According to the U.S. Forest Service, an estimated 102 million trees have died in California forests since 2010.

To cope with the problem, Cal Fire has awarded more than $15 million in fire prevention and tree mortality grants to 34 counties throughout the state.

“These grants focus on reducing wildfire risk through education, planning, and the removal of dead trees and hazardous fuel. We look forward to seeing the results of these projects and the safeguarding effects they have on communities,” Cal Fire Director Chief Ken Pimlott reported to Sierra Star.

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