The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is delivering $197 million through the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program across the country. The said amount will be apportioned among 100 projects in 22 states and 7 tribes that were affected by wildfires or are the most at-risk because of them.
The initial round of funding is aimed at funding the creation of Community Wildfire Protection Plans, and immediate measures that will reduce the effects of wildfires on non-federal lands for communities that already have Community Wildfire Protection Plans. States, tribes, and local communities will have another chance to apply as the Forest Service will announce and open a new funding round later this year.
As outlined by USDA, some of the recipients of the investment are:
In California, the Kern County Fire Department will receive more than $2.2 million for fire equipment and two transport trailers for their prescribed fire program. More than $500,000 will train cadre members to provide planning, direction and technical expertise when using prescribed fire around high-risk communities. More than $500,000 will provide the Kern Fire Safe Council with training for a project manager, outreach coordinator and home ignition zone assessors to help communities and homeowners reduce wildfire risk as part of their “Be Aware, Be Prepared: Defend Your Space!” project.
In Washington, more than $5.5 million will fund the Mt. Adams Resource Stewards, West Klickitat County Wildfire Defense Project to build approximately 35 miles of strategic fuel breaks around seven high-risk rural communities, along with an outreach and assistance program. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, White Salmon Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project will receive $400,000 to build a fuel break around the entire community and support hazardous fuels reduction as part of the 2018 Klickitat County community wildfire protection plan. The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation will receive more than $2.7 million to construct strategic fuel breaks and reduce wildfire risk in the southwestern corner of the Yakama Reservation.
In North Carolina, Carolina Land and Lakes Resource Conservation and Development, North Carolina Forest Service and other partners, will receive approximately $1.4 million to update and create Community Wildfire Protection Plans in counties with high wildfire risk. Each plan will identify areas to reduce hazardous fuels and recommend ways to protect structures in at-risk communities.