Funding for local and rural fire districts is here: Applications open Oct. 15

Rural fire districts play an essential role in managing wildfires in Washington. But without the proper resources, their work can only go so far.

That’s where the Department of Natural Resource (DNR) Fire District Assistance Program can help. We administer grants to help local fire districts and departments obtain the best means to fight wildfire.

Qualifying fire districts and departments can use assistance grants to purchase general fire equipment, as well as fund a variety of eligible fire-improvement projects.

This U.S.D.A. Forest Service funding provides a 50 percent match of what the recipient spends.

The grants are available to fire protection districts and departments in Washington state that respond to wildland fires on private, state, or federal lands and:

  • Serve communities with a population of 10,000 or fewer residents, or
  • Serve communities of more than 10,000 residents AND a service area that includes a rural community of fewer than 10,000 residents.

DNR’s Volunteer Fire Assistance Phase 2 grant applications are open Oct. 15 through Dec. 1.

Grant requirements, including district eligibility, and types of projects eligible for funding can be viewed at DNR’s Fire District Assistance Program webpage starting Tuesday, Oct. 15.

More about the program

DNR’s Fire District Assistance Program is the conduit for fire districts and departments to participate in the USFS Firefighter Property and Volunteer Fire Assistance programs.

These programs reduce costs for taxpayers and improve local and state agencies’ response to wildfires. For example, local fire districts and departments can obtain used excess military equipment and help pay for its conversion to wildland fire use. Eligible fire districts can apply to DNR for assistance from these programs.