$250M Pledged to shield communities from wildfire threats

May 15, 2024

By Farms.com

The administration, under the Investing in America agenda, has committed $250 million to reduce wildfire risks through the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program. This initiative is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, enabling communities to bolster their defenses against potential wildfires.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Xochitl Torres Small announced that this funding would support the development of community wildfire protection plans and the clearing of overgrown vegetation, which significantly increases fire risks.

The program benefits a wide range of regions, including 31 states, two territories, and 11 tribes, funding diverse projects such as nearly $10 million allocated to the Cherokee Nation for prescribed burns and training, and nearly $6 million to Oregon’s Wasco County for creating fuel breaks.

This initiative also aligns with the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy, aiming to create resilient landscapes and fire-adapted communities, ensuring an effective response to wildfires.

The program has seen a substantial increase in interest and applications, leading to a 20% increase in funding. This enthusiasm highlights the critical need for continued investment in wildfire prevention and community safety.

As part of a broader strategy, this funding is one segment of a $1 billion plan spread over five years, designed to support non-federal land management efforts against wildfires, emphasizing community involvement and proactive planning.

The upcoming third round of funding will further these efforts, marking another step in the administration’s comprehensive approach to managing wildfire risks and enhancing climate resilience across the country.

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