Reporting Wildfires Monday, April 10, 2017
Author(s): Matt Holte
Reporting wildfire activity is an increasingly vital tool that supports many of Nebraska's core volunteer fire department programs, such as the Volunteer Fire Assistance, Federal Excess Personal Property & Firefighter Property, and State Volunteer Fire Assistance programs. This page is meant to serve as a reference guide on how to report wildfires for your department.
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Volunteer fire assistance program
Commonly referred to as "VFA." This program provides federal financial assistance, through the USDA Forest Service, to qualifying volunteer fire departments (VFDs). The purpose of these funds is to help VFDs acquire the necessary equipment, prevention material, and training for fighting wildland fires.
This cost-share program, managed by the NFS, provides up to 50% of the cost for new equipment purchases. The grant application is available online in the spring of each year, usually April. It will also be mailed to departments; however, this will be phased out by 2020.
- The maximum grant per department is $5,000.
- The application identifies priority types of equipment or activities for funding items, such as 2-way radios, protective clothing, breathing apparatus, etc.
- To qualify, departments must submit at least one report for the previous year.
- When scoring grant applications, significant bonus points are awarded for "complete wildfire reporting." This is defined as a minimum of one report each month.
- "No response" reports are to be completed only in months where there are no wildfires.
The take away: make sure your department’s wildfire reports are up-to-date. The number of grant dollars available from the national pool is directly tied to the number of fires reported, acres burned, and reports submitted.
How to file a report
Log in to your volunteer fire department's account. If you don't remember your password, send us an email.
- Select the response type of your department
- Follow the form's instructions and fill out all areas where you have information
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click submit