Alaska awarded nearly $4M in Community Wildfire Defense Grants 

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – Alaska communities with limited resources and facing wildfire risk were awarded about $3.7 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. The Alaska grants were part of a national announcement of $250 million in Community Wildfire Defense grant awards for vulnerable communities.

“The Biden-Harris administration is putting historic resources into efforts to confront the wildfire crisis, which is threatening people, communities and resources across the nation,” said USDA Deputy Agriculture Secretary Xochitl Torres Small. “The Community Wildfire Defense Grants are just one of many ways we are helping communities adapt to larger, more complex and more frequent wildfires.”

Six projects were funded in Alaska:

  • $2,630,474 to Homer Electric Association to implement clearing within and abutting the association’s right-of-way easement for distribution lines to address the growing risk associated with excessive fast-growth trees, vegetation, and spruce beetle-affected trees.
  • $250,000 to Alaska’s Division of Forestry and Fire Protection to create an updated Community Wildfire Protection Plan for the town and surrounding area of Delta Junction, Alaska.
  • $250,000 to Alaska’s Division of Forestry and Fire Protection to create an updated Community Wildfire Protection Plan for Tok, Alaska.
  • $250,000 to Bristol Bay Native Association to develop Community Wildfire Protection Plans for Dillingham and Aleknagik, Alaska.
  • $249, 863 to Nenana Native Association to complete a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
  • $129,000 to Native Village of Tetlin to develop a new Community Wildfire Protection Plan.   

Funding from the grant program is designed to help tribal communities, nonprofit organizations, state forestry agencies and Alaska Native Corporations with planning for and mitigating wildfire risks to communities and critical infrastructure to help confront the nation’s wildfire crisis. The funding supports developing or revising Community Wildfire Protection Plans as well as completing projects that are named in these plans. The program is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and includes $1 billion to reduce wildfire risk over five years.