Contact: Lane County Firewise Incentive Program in Land Management Division at 541-682-6522, or visit the Firewise website for information at: www.lanecounty.org/firewise
For a third year in a row, Lane County’s Firewise Incentive Program will offer financial assistance to rural residents who are interested in making landscaping and building improvements, which can help protect their homes in the event of a wildfire.
Through the program, grant funding will be available to partially reimburse costs that homeowners incur for the following types of improvements:
- Installation of fire-resistant siding, exterior doors, windows and skylights;
- Replacement of a wood shake roof with a non-combustible roof;
- Installation of spark arrestors on chimneys;
- Landscaping improvements that will create a “defensible space” around habitable structures - under this category funding will be available for brush removal, tree pruning, chipping, irrigation system installation, the planting of approved fire-resistant plants within a 30’-100’ buffer around homes, and the installation of water catchment and storage tanks to provide irrigation to a “defensible space”.
Individual property owners may be eligible for up to $15,000 in grant funding. In addition, the County will also waive fees for building permits that may be required to carry out some improvements.
The next grant cycle begins today, May 2 and based on the popularity of the program in past years, it is anticipated that funds will go quickly. Therefore, interested residents are encouraged to apply early. Applications forms are available online at www.lanecounty.org/firewise or in person at the Land Management Division’s office, located in the Public Service Building, 125 E. Eighth Ave., Eugene.
Firewise incentive grants are offered on a first come first serve basis to qualifying residents. To qualify, properties must be at risk to wildfire and be located in rural Lane County (outside of an incorporated city).
The program is being administered through the County’s Land Management Division with funding provided through Title III of the Federal Secure Rural Schools (SRS) Program – Section 601 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. This legislation narrowly limits how counties may use Title III funding. In general, the money must be spent on programs that will have a benefit to Federal forestlands. The types of activities promoted through the County incentive program closely follow the guidelines of the National Firewise Communities Program, which is an allowable use specified in the SRS legislation.
The opening of the 2011 Firewise grant cycle coincides with the Global Wildfire Awareness Week (May 1-7).
“This is a time to actively recognize the threat of wildfire in our community and to prepare for the coming wildfire season,” said Keir Miller, an Associate Planner with the Land Management Division.
For the last two years the extremely popular Firewise Program has provided financial incentives to help hundreds of homeowners in Lane County reduce their risk from wildfire. The Firewise Incentive Program is designed to run for one more year, until the SRS legislation expires in 2012.
To learn more, visit the Land Management Division offices at 125 E. Eighth Ave., Eugene; go online at www.lanecounty.org/firewise; or call 541-682-6522.
Public Information Officer
Lane County Government
125 E. Eighth Ave.
Eugene, Oregon 97401
(541) 359.9143 (cell)