SDG&E Invests Nearly $1M in Organizations that Protect Region From Wildfires

SAN DIEGO, July 12, 2018 – With wildfire season turning into a year-round threat throughout the state of California, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today awarded nearly $1 million in shareholder-funded charitable grants to 95 emergency response teams and other non-profit organizations that have made it their mission to protect the region from wildfire.  

Known as the SAFE San Diego Awards, this philanthropic initiative has earmarked shareholder dollars to ensure local Fire Safe Councils (FSCs) and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) have the tools, resources, and staffing they need to plan, prepare, and respond to emergencies in every neighborhood and community in the region.

“Protecting our community from wildfire is not something we can do alone,” said Augie Ghio, director of emergency management for SDG&E. “With wildfires being our region’s greatest threat, we are proud to partner with the organizations that share our commitment to protecting lives, homes, and property.”

Building a resilient region to combat the new challenges brought on by climate change is critical. That means investing in new technologies that fire agencies and first responders need to respond to emergencies. That also means providing residents with resources, information, and programs to help them safeguard their homes and families from what is now being called the “new normal.”

Volunteers and teams awarded grants from SDG&E represent organizations that play critical roles in helping to prepare our communities for emergencies and are often the first line of information and support in a crisis. Some of the programs that will be supported include:

  • Community Emergency Response Teams and Fire Safe Councils: Approximately 55 teams will receive a total of $140,000 to help more than 2,200 active volunteers protect more than 55,700 buildings and 6,700 acres. This is accomplished through 70 defensible space projects, 93 drills, and 324 training workshops.
  • American Red Cross (San Diego and Orange County): Will receive funds to enhance the regional Prepare San Diego and Ready 365 initiatives aimed at encouraging all residents and businesses in both San Diego and Orange Counties to develop an emergency response plan and kit. 
  • Forest Fire Lookout Association: Funds will help this all-volunteer national organization operate, maintain, and improve Palomar Mountain’s two fire lookout towers while providing a unique level of public safety.
  • Burn Institute: Will receive funds to support programs that educate on the dangers of wildfire in both English and Spanish throughout the community.

The 95 organizations receiving grants this year have already touched thousands of lives and, with continued collaboration, will help this region remain prepared and protected from wildfires. To learn more about SDG&E’s commitment to the communities that we serve, visit