The County of Humboldt, in collaboration with the Humboldt County Fire Safe Council (HCFSC), is excited to announce the availability of grant funds to support the objectives of the Firewise Communities project. This project involves assisting residential communities to become, or maintain their status as recognized Firewise Communities/USA sites and supporting actions to prevent the potential for home ignitions from wildfire.
Efforts to improve personal fire safety and preparedness on the individual and community level are increasingly important. This importance is evidenced by the number of homes threatened and destroyed during this year’s wildfire season and the continuing drought in California limiting water sources for fire suppression and resulting in extremely dry, high wildfire risk conditions.
The Firewise Communities/USA Recognition Program empowers communities to work together in reducing their wildfire risk. Using a five-step process, community residents collectively develop an action plan that identifies their wildfire hazard risks and guides action to reduce those risks, while engaging and encouraging neighbors to become active participants in building a safer place to live.
The five steps of Firewise recognition are:
1. Create a Community Wildfire Risk Assessment with assistance from your state forestry agency and/or local fire department.
2. Form a board or committee and create an Action Plan based on the Community Assessment.
3. Conduct a “Firewise Day” event.
4. Invest a minimum of $2 per capita in local Firewise actions for the year (this may include volunteer hours—valued at $21.79/hour--devoted to completing Firewise projects).
5. Submit an application to your state Firewise liaison.
Eligible Firewise Projects may include the following:
- Completing the process of becoming a Firewise Community: working with local forestry and fire protection personnel to complete a community wildfire risk assessment; coordinating with residents in your neighborhood to compile a community action plan; and holding a Firewise Day event. Grant funds may be allocated in your budget to support administrative tasks, such as coordinating these meetings and writing these documents.
- Holding a Firewise Day Event. Grant funds may be allocated to advertising for your event, printing costs of Firewise materials to be distributed at your event, or to pay for refreshments at your event.
- Holding a Community Clean-up or Chipper Day. Grant funds may be allocated to conducting fuel reduction in the home ignition zone (within 200 feet of a structure) and/or renting a chipper to process debris produced from such fuel reduction.
- Creating a Defensible Space Demonstration Project. Grant funds may be allocated to completing environmental compliance documentation, conducting fuel reduction in the home ignition zone, producing an interpretive sign, and hosting an event to showcase the attributes of a fire-safe home.
Application materials may be downloaded from the HCFSC website (humboldtgov.org/749/Title-III-Funding). The application deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 31, 2014.
All projects have a funding cap of $10,000 per applicant and must be achievable by June 30, 2015. At this time there is approximately $60,000 available to support this round of the grant program.
Please direct questions and/or email your application to Cybelle Immitt at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-267-9542.