The Texas A&M Forest Service wants landowners in the High Plains to know they may be eligible for funding that would assist in the creation of vegetative fuel breaks on private lands.
Through Dec. 20, Texas A&M Forest Service will be accepting grant applications. The agency will reimburse each grant recipient up to $2,500 for the costs associated with trees, weed barriers, planting contractors, (no comma) and drip irrigation systems, among others, to create vegetative fuel breaks.
“This grant is intended to help protect communities in the High Plains by reducing the risks of catastrophic wildfire events on both public and private lands,” said Logan Scherschel, Texas A&M Forest Service wildland urban interface specialist “Our hope is that landowners will apply for this grant and then construct vegetative fuel breaks on their property ahead of fire season.”
Vegetative fuel breaks are trees and shrubs that are systematically planted adjacent to fields, homesteads, (no comma) or feedlots to reduce or redirect the wind. As a result, the fuel breaks can impact wind-driven fire behavior in a way that will allow time for residents to evacuate before the fire affects nearby homes or structures.
Fuel breaks eligible for the grant funds will consist of a minimum of three rows of trees at least 400 feet in length.
“Once grant applications have been submitted, the selection process for recipients will begin immediately after the Dec. 20 deadline,” said Scherschel. “As always, Texas A&M Forest Service will be happy to answer any questions landowners have regarding the application process or how a vegetative fuel break can mitigate the risk of property damage caused by wildfires.”
All landowners who apply for the $2,500 grant will be notified of a decision no later than Jan. 31. Texas A&M Forest Service does not conduct the actual planting and installation of the vegetative fuel break but will provide technical assistance to applicants. If an application is approved, Texas A&M Forest Service will then further discuss the project details with the recipient prior to planting and complete a follow-up inspection once the project is complete.
Landowners interested may find a copy of the application online. Application packages must be mailed to:
Texas A&M Forest Service
Mitigation & Prevention Department
15110 Jones Maltsberger STE 101
San Antonio, Texas 78247