COLLEGE STATION, Texas (FOX 44) – Texas communities at risk of wildfires can now apply for a federal grant administered by the Texas A&M Forest Service.
The organization says available funding is intended to help at-risk communities plan for and reduce the risk of wildfire. The Community Wildfire Defense Grant provides funding for two primary objectives – the development and revision of Community Wildfire Protection Plans, and the implementation of projects outlined in a plan that is less than ten years old.
Priority will be given to at-risk communities in areas with high or very high wildfire hazard potential, communities that qualify as low-income and communities impacted by severe disasters. This program is made possible by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, authorized in Public Law 117-58.
Entities eligible to apply for funding under the Community Wildfire Defense Grant are:
- Local governments representing communities at risk of wildfires
- Native American tribes
- Non-profit organizations, including homeowner associations assisting such communities
- State forestry agencies
The Forest Service says that eligible applicants can seek grant funding for projects conducted on local government, state government, tribal, homeowner association and privately-owned lands if the project directly reduces wildfire risk to a community.
There is no minimum federal funding limit for projects under the Community Wildfire Defense Grant. The maximum funding awarded to any one community or tribe through this competitive grant is:
- $250,000 for the creation or updating of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan
- $10 million for projects described within a Community Wildfire Protection Plan less than 10 years old
The Forest Service says that cost-sharing is a requirement for all applications funded under the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program. The cost-share rates for this program are not less than ten percent for the development or revision of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan and not less than 25 percent for project implementation as outlined in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan that is not more than ten years old.
To assist potential applicants, webinars will be held on August 4, 9, 10 and 15 at 1 p.m. CST. Details for registration can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/managing-land/fire/grants.
The closing date for grant applications is October 31.