Grants available for volunteer fire departments

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Arkansas Department of Agricultureís Forestry Division is accepting applications for the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant for Wildfire Suppression Kits until Oct. 4.

More than 80 Wildfire Suppression Kits will be awarded this year across the state to rural volunteer fire departments. More than 300 kits have been distributed since 2014.

Volunteer fire departments are the Forestry Divisionís primary partner in wildfire response and suppression. The kits will provide volunteer fire departments the specialized equipment needed for safe suppression, including up to 10 wildfire-resistant coveralls, 10 pairs of wildland gloves, two backpack leaf blowers, two collapsible backpack water pumps, and six leaf rakes.

Rural volunteer fire departments interested in applying may submit an application to their District Forester. Applications are scored according to specific criteria to include the population of the fire district, the number of square miles covered, the average number of wildfires a department responds to annually and other factors. The selected departments will be notified in October, and kits will be delivered in March 2020.

The program is administered by the Forestry Divisionís Rural Fire Protection office, with funding provided by the United States Forest Service. Additional information and the application can be found at www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/rural-fire-program

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