NASHVILLE– The Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry will be providing access to federal grant funding for communities and volunteer fire departments to be better equipped for wildfire.
Communities who have developed or are in the process of developing a Community Wildfire Prevention Plan (CWPP) will be eligible for the Hazard Mitigation Assistance program. The 100% reimbursement grant offers up to $20,000 in funding for communities to implement wildfire prevention practices and community education projects in their CWPP.
The Hazard Mitigation Assistance program provided $279,763 in 2018 to assist in the development of 15 new Community Wildfire Protection Plans, implement projects to reduce dense, hazardous flammable vegetation, and facilitate best practices for Tennessee Fire Adapted Communities. These knowledgeable and engaged communities work to lessen the need for extensive protection actions and enable the communities to safely accept fire as part of the surrounding landscape.
Fire departments serving communities with populations of 10,000 or less are eligible for the Volunteer Fire Assistance Program. This is a 50% reimbursement grant for qualifying wildland fire equipment and supplies totaling $1,000 to $6,000. The program supported volunteer fire departments across the state last year with more than 100 grants totaling $259,000.
“These programs help communities protect life and property,” State Forester David Arnold said. “With defensible space around homes and well-equipped fire departments, citizens may be able to sleep a little easier knowing their community is prepared for wildfire.”
Applications for the Hazard Mitigation Grant will open Aug. 5 and end Sept. 20. Applications for the Volunteer Fire Assistance Program will open Aug. 5 and end Sept. 13.
Both applications must be submitted to the Assistant District Forester in the applicants’ area. For more information, visit http://www.burnsafetn.org.