An escaped wildfire, even one burning in grass or weeds, is dangerous. Photo from ODNR.

ODNR provides more than $52,000 to help support rural fire departments

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) supports Ohio’s rural fire departments and the communities they serve. Through the Community Wildfire Risk Reduction (CWRR) grant program, the ODNR Division of Forestry recently approved grant funding for 25 projects totaling $52,106 for fire departments in rural areas of eastern and southern Ohio.

“Rural fire departments are the front line for wildfires in Ohio,” said Dan Balser, chief of the Division of Forestry. “We strive to help local firefighters be prepared to guard the safety of the communities they serve. These grants will assist those departments in their challenging task of wildfire prevention and suppression.”

CWRR grant projects are focused on supporting wildfire hazard mitigation, public education and firefighter training for rural fire departments. Items purchased through these grants include dry hydrants, computers, tablets, GPS units, outdoor signs, and training room equipment and materials. One unique CWRR project was the cooperative effort between the divisions of Forestry and Parks and Watercraft and local fire departments to install dry hydrants near state park lodge facilities. These additional water supply locations will allow local fire departments to provide faster and more effective fire suppression response to their protection areas.

In this project, ODNR provided the cost share, further alleviating financial strain on the local fire departments.Many rural fire departments in Ohio have very tight budgets, and the majority of their limited resources must be focused on absolute essentials to keep emergency services up and running.
The Division of Forestry’s CWRR grant program allows for cost sharing to help make important ancillary programs, like community outreach, risk reduction and safety campaigns, possible.CWRR grant funding was provided to the Division of Forestry through a competitive process via the U.S. Forest Service.

The Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov. Follow us on Instagram at @odnrforestry (instagram.com/odnrforestry).ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.