CASH FOR PREP
Gearing up for grant-making in advance of Wildfire Community
BY JESSE ROMAN
NFPA AND STATE FARM have awarded $500 grants to 125 communities across the United States as part of the third annual Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, slated for May 7.
Recipients will use the money to help fund a variety of local mitigation projects, and/or education and outreach events aimed at making their communities more resistant and resilient to wildfire. The Elko Fire Department in Elko, Nevada, for example, will use the grant money to buy 150 perennial Firewise plants to give away as part of a “choose the right plants” demonstration at the city’s Wildfire Prep Day event. Community members will be shown two separate landscapes of local plants and will be asked to identify the plants that are fire-prone and those that are Firewise.
Since Wildfire Preparedness Day launched in 2014, the number of grants awarded has increased dramatically, from 20 in the inaugural year to 65 last year and 125 this year. Past projects include developing community-wide wildfire evacuation drills, various education and outreach efforts, and many fuel-mitigation projects. This year’s crop of grant recipients were detailed and varied, according to Michele Steinberg, the director of NFPA’s Wildland Fire Division.
NFPA had received about 227 Wildfire Preparedness Day grant applications with a couple days to go before the February 28 deadline. During last year’s prep day event, more than 140 total projects were undertaken in 27 states.
See a list of 2016 Wildfire Preparedness Day grant recipients.
Home ignition zone seminars
NFPA is now accepting applications from U.S. firefighters interested in attending a two-day seminar this spring on how to assess and mitigate wildfire hazards near homes. The 175 available scholarships cover the costs of registration, travel, lodging, and meals during the event.
Attendees will learn about the science of wildland fire property loss and how to use data and science to advise property owners of mitigation measures they can take to protect their homes. The scholarships are paid for with a $360,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Seminar dates and locations in 2016 include: March 22–23, Doubletree Hilton, Sacramento, California; April 14–15, Doubletree Suites, Phoenix, Arizona; April 22–23, Residence Inn, Downtown/Bricktown, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; May 5–6, Courtyard Portland Downtown/Convention Center, Portland, Oregon; May 20–21, The Davenport Grand, Autograph Collection, Spokane, Washington.