Wildland Fire Hazard Mitigation Grants Available to Communities

Thursday, July 30, 2020 | 09:43am
Cindy Barrett, Long Branch Lakes Hazard Mitigation Committee Chair. Equipment trailer and tools for Long Branch Lakes Firewise USA Community funded through a 2019 Hazard Mitigation Grant.

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry will administer federal grant funds to help communities make their homes safer and more defensible from wildland fire.

“We all have a role in fire prevention,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants fund initiatives such as community outreach, education, and emergency planning. Those along with activities that can minimize the likelihood of wildland fire, such as prescribed burning or forest thinning, make communities safer.”

Cities, towns, and communities at risk from wildland fires are eligible to apply. Each applicant must develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). This 100% reimbursement grant offers up to $20,000 in funding for areas to implement wildfire hazard mitigation, prevention, and community education projects outlined in their CWPP.

The Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant awarded $110,000 in 2019 to assist 16 communities develop Wildfire Protection Plans, implement projects to reduce wildfire risks, and facilitate best practices as a Tennessee Fire Adapted Community. These communities worked to minimize the need for extensive protection actions and to safely accept wildland fire as part of the surrounding landscape.

Applications for the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant open Aug. 1, 2020 and close Sept. 4, 2020.

Applications must be submitted to the Assistant District Forester in the applicant’s area. A list can be found at www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests/staff.html. For more information about the grant, visit www.burnsafetn.org.

About the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry (TDF)

As Tennessee’s lead agency in wildland fire, the division’s Fire Management Unit works to minimize damage to forest resources and personal property while giving priority to firefighter and public safety. TDF prevents and suppresses wildfires, promotes hazard reduction activities, implements beneficial prescribed fire, and supports wildland fire training for volunteer fire departments and other wildland firefighters. The division supports interagency cooperation with local area fire departments, mutual aid partners, and civic leaders regarding wildland fire activity and all hazard incident management. Visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for more information.