Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wildfire Reduction Grants for Columbia County

The Oregon Department of Forestry currently has grant funds available to assist land owners in Columbia County in reducing their wildfire risk around homes and property. Financial assistance opportunities exist in both rebate and cost-share form depending on individual needs and interest. These projects will focus on mitigating wildfire hazards for those who live in communities at risk. A free home assessment starts at the home itself, and moves outwards through the “home ignition zone” (HIZ). The concept of this HIZ has been developed to describe interactions between wildfire and structures. Your HIZ will vary from 30 to 200 feet depending on vegetation and topography. There are also cost-share opportunities for more traditional non-commercial fuels reduction projects to help create community fire breaks.

The local Columbia City ODF office is administering these grant funds in cooperation with rural fire districts, Columbia County Emergency Management and the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. The goal of this program is to make our community more aware of the risks associated with living near wildlands, and the simple tasks individuals can do to help protect themselves and their families. There are many different ways that individuals can participate in making our community and forestland more able to survive a catastrophic wildfire.

To sign up for a free comprehensive HIZ inspection and to start the grant application process contact:

Kevin Nelson, Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Columbia City (503) 397-6361