Between July 15 and October 15, WDNR staff and our partners in fire management are able to submit Wildfire Risk Reduction (WRR) project applications. A packet of application materials, which includes guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions and the application, were emailed to WDNR Area Forestry Leaders, Wildland Urban Interface Specialists and State Forest Supervisors July 1 for wider distribution through their local networks.
WRR funds are made available to the states by the U.S. Forest Service through a competitive process for State Fire Assistance grants. In 2016, WDNR was approved for a $300,000 grant to implement projects in high fire risk parts of the state. Staff and partner projects must fall within one of three categories: Fuels Management, Education or Community Planning. Examples of past projects include: neighborhood brush chipping days, creation of brush collection sites, storm debris cleanup, TV and radio ads, local fire prevention newsletters, Smokey Bear fire danger signs and the creation of Community Wildfire Protection Plans.
Project funding is based on the type of community where the project will occur and what, if any, action the community has taken to become ‘fire adapted’ (such as being a nationally recognized Firewise Community or having developed a Community Wildfire Protection Plan). Projects can occur in other communities, but funding maximums are lower. However, all projects must occur in a municipality that is on the state’s Community at Risk list.
Project applications will be reviewed by a team of Wildland Urban Interface specialists in November. Projects must be completed within calendar year 2017. For more information, contact Jolene Ackerman, Jolene.Ackerman@Wisconsin.gov, 608-267-7677.