Mar 22, 2023

USDA announces wildfire prevention investments

Posted Mar 22, 2023 2:55 PM

The Department of Agriculture this week announced the first investment of a $1 billion effort to mitigate wildfire risks as the nation faces an ongoing wildfire crisis.

USDA announced a $197 million investment for 100 projects that benefits 22 states as part of the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program.

USDA's Forest Service worked with states and tribes through an interagency workgroup to develop the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program, originally announced in June 2022.

Grant proposals underwent a competitive selection process, including review panels of state forestry agencies and tribal representatives. The agency used the three priorities outlined in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to narrow down the communities in greatest need.

These priorities included communities impacted by severe disasters, those with high or very high wildfire hazard potential or classified as low income. The initial round of investments will assist communities in developing Community Wildfire Protection Plans, key roadmaps for addressing wildfire risks locally.