Grants and Other Funding Opportunities
Communities often find themselves in need of funding for wildfire mitigation projects. Although funding opportunities are not abundant, and long-range planning is often needed to be successful in gaining financial support; assistance does exist from many sources on the federal, regional, state, county and local levels. The most commonly found resources are often targeted to states or local jurisdictions, and others solely to fire departments; but with perseverance, diligence and a collaborative mindset, you may find a funding opportunity that matches your present, or future project’s needs.
To assist with your funding search, peruse the following sources and the state-by-state directory and check back frequently for updated information.
Federal Government Grants
Wildfire mitigation grant opportunities are available through multiple federal agencies and Grants.gov is a good place to begin your search. It’s an easy-to-use resource for more than 1,000 grant programs developed across all 26 federal grant-making agencies. It’s a valuable tool that can assist in locating federal wildfire risk reduction grant opportunities. In addition to the resources found on grants.gov, several additional opportunities are listed in the section below:
Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants
The Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grant is part of FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. The primary goal of FP&S grants is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters, with respect to fire and fire-related hazards. FP&S grants are offered to support projects in two areas:
- Fire Prevention and Safety Activities: Activities designed to reach high-risk target groups and mitigate the incidence of death and injuries caused by fire and fire-related hazards. These include:
- General Education/Awareness
- Code Enforcement/Awareness
- Fire and Arson Investigation
- National/State/Regional Programs and Studies
- Research and Development Activity
Questions regarding FP&S Grants should be directed to FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) 274-0960.
Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program
The Department of Homeland Security/FEMA administers the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program. The PDM program provides funding to states, territories, Indian tribal governments, communities and universities for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects prior to a disaster event. Eligible applicants and subapplicants include:
- State and Local government
- Indian tribes or other tribal organizations
Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however an eligible application or subapplicant may apply on their behalf.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the HMGP is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster. The HMGP is authorized under Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
Eligible Applicants and/or Subapplicants:
- Local governments
- Indian tribes or other tribal organizations
- Private non-profit organizations
Individual homeowners and businesses may not apply directly to the program; however an eligible applicant or sub-applicant may apply on their behalf.
See a list of Regional FEMA Grant Offices
See a list of State Hazard Mitigation Officers
National Fire Plan - Wildland Urban Interface Community Fire Assistance
Program Number 15.228 - Bureau of Land Management (BLM): Eligible applicants include states and local governments with a wildfire risk as published in the Federal Register, Indian Tribes, public and private education institutions, nonprofit organizations, and rural fire departments serving a community with a population of 10,000 or less in the wildland/urban interface. For information contact the State BLM Director or Field Office Manager.
Program Number 15.674 – Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS): Eligible applicants include state and local governments and communities at risk and communities of interest as published in the Federal Register, Indian Tribes, private landowners, public and private education institutions and nonprofit organizations that manage lands. All selectees must be identified as significant to FWS, deemed by a cooperative agreement, memorandum of understanding, and/or part of an interagency agreement that serves as a clearinghouse for HFR assistance monies. Applicants must be in close proximity to DOI lands and communities within the wildland urban interface. Projects are reviewed at the regional level and funding recommendations are made through each region’s annual work plan process.
Program Number 15.948 – National Park Service (NPS): Eligible applicants include states and local governments at risk as published in the Federal Register, Indian Tribes, public and private education institutions and nonprofit organizations. The awards are for hazard reduction activities restricted to Federal lands or adjacent nonfederal land for activities that benefit resources on Federal land. Assistance can be used to help the NPS support community based efforts addressing defensible space and fuels management issues; support outreach and education efforts associated with fuels management and risk reduction activities; and increase the effectiveness of rural fire protection. Funding is highly variable each fiscal year. For further information contact the nearest regional NPS office.
Regional, State, County and Local Grant Opportunities
Opportunities for regional, state, county and local wildfire mitigation project funding exist and are often found in nontraditional sources. This state-by-state directory will help get your search started. In addition to the sources provided here, contact your state forestry agency, state department of natural resources and the non-profit Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council where you live and ask about potential resources.
For local funding opportunities contact area philanthropic foundations, community and civic organizations, city or county park departments, and insurance agencies. Your local fire department or emergency manager may be able to refer you to potential funding sources.
Communities with a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP), or Local Hazard Mitigation Plan may find funding easier to access by having proactively completed one of these planning tools.
Some states have cost sharing programs and other types of innovative assistance. In California, the California Fire Safe Council (CFSC) is a statewide non-profit organization that provides grants to local Fire Safe Councils and other community organizations using its innovative Grants Clearinghouse. Since its first year of grant making in 2004, over $81 million in federal fire prevention funds have flowed through the Clearinghouse to groups working to keep their communities safer from wildfire.
In the West, regional funding for states includes the Western Wildland Urban Interface Grant Program. These National Fire Plan funds require a 50/50 match and are awarded to states through a competitive process. Monies must be used to mitigate risk from wildland fire within the wildland/urban interface, with an emphasis on hazard fuel reduction, information and education, assessment and planning and monitoring through community and landowner action. Funding is delivered and managed by state forestry organizations. Eligible states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming; and also includes American Samoa, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Palau, the Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.
The National Association of Counties (NACO)
has a members-only Grants Clearinghouse with a listing of federal, state, corporate and foundation grants available to counties and community-based organizations.