Less federal funding for wildfire prevention

Fewer federal funds will be allocated this year to help rural fire departments fight forest fires, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

DEC is now accepting applications for U.S. Forest Service grants that are earmarked for purchases that directly relate to wildfire prevention purposes.

Such items include portable pumps, portable backpack pumps, hand tools, hoses, lightweight fireproof clothing, hard hats, turnout gear, portable radios, generators and dry hydrants.

Last year the program provided $1,000 grants to 466 different fire departments.

DEC does not know how much funding will be available, but said it anticipates that the amount would be less than the $466,000 it spent last year.

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