The IAFC’s Community Wildfire Readiness (CWR) Program addresses a key component of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy and supports local fire department initiatives to establish and enhance local-level fire-adapted efforts. CWR provides the fire service and other targeted groups with the tools, resources, guidance and support to prepare for the threat of wildland fire.
CWR’s focus is to host a broader audience and promote similar messages and shared goals of our partners in the Fire Adapted Communities Coalition. Creating and maintaining productive partnerships with those who share common objectives is invaluable when one of those objectives is to effect large-scale behavioral change starting at the local level.
One of those partnerships is with American Insurance Group, Inc. (AIG), which has created local opportunities and assistance. Through this partnership with AIG, the IAFC is offering direct funding through no-cost share grants to fire departments; this will help departments with wildland-fire preparedness education and mitigation efforts in their communities. The funding provided by AIG allows for both outreach- and mitigation-grant opportunities.
With the funding provided, the CWR program will be able to award up to 50 RSG outreach grants of $1,000 each and approximately 20 RSG mitigation grants of up to $5,000 each. The IAFC and AIG fully understand the need for funding that many local departments face, especially for prevention, public education and community preparedness and realize these grant funds will be depleted quickly.
RSG outreach grants will be awarded to help departments implement or continue the RSG! Program in new or existing public-education programs to promote community-wide awareness and personal action in preparing for potential wildland fires. Grant recipients will be able to use funding for outreach-materials creation, event costs, incentives or any combination of these. The IAFC houses a variety of printed RSG! Program materials to use to at local and regional events, all of which are shipped without charge to RSG members upon request.
The focus of the inaugural RSG mitigation grants is to promote and gain community buy-in and participation in fuels mitigation. The grant funding will help implement or enhance fuels-mitigation programs to increase defensible space in the community; it can be used toward the purchase of a trailer, fuels-mitigation equipment, chipper purchase or rental, debris-disposal fees, participation incentives or any combination of these.
RSG members are encouraged to submit early as applications are being processed and selected by a peer review group on a first-come, first-served basis until funding awarded to qualified applicants is exhausted.
As trusted voices in their communities, local fire service personnel need to take the lead in facilitating necessary behavioral change. This change can take place by promoting wildfire readiness through awareness education and encouraging personal action of community members to create a safer situations for residents and emergency response personnel alike.
Through CWR, the IAFC is committed to providing the tools local fire departments and their partners need to make their communities more fire-adapted.