California

California

Grant Means New Equipment in Central Valley

2006

A rural fire department in California’s Central Valley will be getting $14,000 in grant money for equipment and training thanks to a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Fire and management staff at Coleman National Fish Hatchery Complex, Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and California Nevada Operations Office obtained the money for the rural fire district through the federal Rural Fire Assistance program. The Cottonwood district is about 20 miles south of Redding.

“This funding will go a long way toward helping our department obtain the safety equipment we desperately need,” said department Fire Chief Randall Armstrong. He said fire shelters and other personal protective equipment will be the first items purchased.

In June 2005, the Cottonwood FPD was instrumental in preventing a wildfire from creating significant damage to both Fish and Wildlife Service and nearby Bureau of Land Management property.

The grant program has been focused on providing money to rural volunteer fire departments that abut DOI lands in order to enhance their wildfire preparedness.

Along with communities, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has benefited greatly from the rural fire assistance program because the majority of Service lands don’t have dedicated wildland fire staff, and depend on rural departments to assist them when wildfires strike. The program has in turn allowed the Service to help rural departments increase their level of preparedness and safety, which improves fire protection for surrounding communities and federal lands.

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