According to the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, the state agency is now accepting applications for a second round of grants under the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program. This phase will provide $5.8 million in grants to reduce the risk of wildfire in areas where human development and forested lands overlap, areas often called the wildland-urban interface.
The program, created under Senate Bill 13-269 and passed last year by the Colorado General Assembly, is focused on projects that reduce the risk for damage to property, infrastructure, and water supplies, and those that limit the likelihood of wildfires spreading into populated areas. Funds will be directed to non-federal lands within Colorado.
The first round of grants, totaling just over $4 million, was awarded to 25 recipients in 16 counties in August.
Eligible applicants include community groups, local governments, utilities, state agencies and non-profit groups. Applicants must contribute 100 percent matching funds, which can include in-kind resources, for a 50-50 grant-to-match ratio. Applicants must also identify plans to make use of the woody material resulting from the projects. Those plans can include using the materials for biomass energy and/or traditional forest products.
Examples of projects considered for funding include:
- Creation of defensible space around homes and structures, based on Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) guidelines.
- Construction of fuel breaks, based on CSFS guidelines.
- Fuels reduction beyond defensible space, designed to protect water supplies and/or reduce fire intensity.
The application deadline is March 13, 2014, with awards anticipated in early May. Visit http://dnr.state.co.us/Media/Pages/WRRG.aspx for details and application forms.