Pennsylvania’s DCNR Bureau of Forestry has announced that it will award more than $540,000 in grants to help their rural communities guard against the threat of forest fires, according to
. The announcement comes from Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard J. Allan.
“A total of 141 volunteer fire companies across the state, all serving rural areas and communities where forest and brush fires are common, will benefit from these funds,” Allan told the site. “One only has to look to the West earlier this summer to see the horrific fires in Colorado to appreciate the value of having well-equipped and highly trained wildfire fighters.”
Firefighting forces in communities with less than 10,000 residents may qualify for the aid. The bureau placed priority on applications seeking funds for wildfire-suppression equipment and protective clothing. And the program isn’t new. Last year it awarded $699,000 to 160 fire companies across the state. Grant sizes max out at $7,500.
The money is going to better equip and train volunteers to save lives and protect property in rural areas. It will also be used for mobile or portable radios, water supply installations, wildfire prevention and mitigation, wildfire fighting training, and federal excess vehicles.
Natural Resources Secretary Allan appreciates the efforts of the state’s firefighters. He wants to make sure that outlying communities get the funding they need to ensure fire safety.
“The readiness of these men and women is demonstrated every spring and summer when they answer assistance calls coming from other states, while also responding regularly to local woodland and brush fires,” Allan said. “These federal grants allow firefighters from smaller companies to concentrate more on public safety and training while easing their fiscal constraints.”
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