Tennessee offering federal wildfire prevention grants

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press - Grace Mynatt looks off toward Lookout Mountain as smoke fills the Tennessee Valley from wildfires.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee is providing access to federal grant programs to help communities and volunteer fire departments become better equipped for wildfires.

The state Department of Agriculture will accept applications for Hazard Mitigation Assistance program grants from Aug. 5 through Sept. 20.

Eligible communities must have crafted or be in the process of crafting a Community Wildfire Prevention Plan. The grants offer full reimbursement up to $20,000 for communities to implement wildfire prevention efforts and education projects.

The program awarded almost $280,000 in 2018.

A program to help fire departments serving 10,000 or fewer people will open Aug. 5 and end Sept. 13. The Volunteer Fire Assistance Program offers 50% reimbursement for wildland fire equipment and supplies from $1,000 to $6,000.