COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas communities at risk of wildfires can now apply for a federal grant administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. 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 10 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.
“Preparing in advance of a wildfire event is one of the most important things communities can do to reduce their risk,” said Wes Moorehead, Texas A&M Forest Service Fire Chief. “Ensuring that Texas communities have the right tools and resources to act in the best interest of their residents is important to our agency. This is a service we provide to communities across the state every day.”
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, and
- State forestry agencies.
Eligible applicants may 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
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 10 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 10 years old.
“Our personnel are engaging with Texas communities to take advantage of this grant opportunity,” said Bruce Woods, Texas A&M Forest Service Mitigation and Prevention Department Head, emphasizing the proactive role of the agency. “We continue to offer subject matter expertise and technical support to communities throughout the grant application process.”
To assist potential applicants, Community Wildfire Defense Grant Webinars will be held on Aug. 4, 9, 10 and 15 at 1 p.m. CST. Details for registration can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/
The closing date for grant applications is Oct. 31, 2023.
Learn more about the Community Wildfire Defense Grant: fs.usda.gov/managing-
Learn more about your community’s wildfire risk: https://texaswildfirerisk.com.