The Iowa Department of Natural Resources forestry section’s fire program, working in coordination with the U.S. Forest Service has grant money available for Iowa’s rural fire departments to help battle wildfires.
The grants offer funding assistance for wildfire suppression equipment, slide in units, hoses, nozzles, adapters, portable tanks and pumps, personal protective equipment and communications equipment.  
Additionally, if a fire department has a special need that can be tied directly to wildfire suppression, this grant allows for such special requests.
The grant provides 50 percent reimbursement for wildland fire equipment with a maximum reimbursement grant of $3,500 per department.
Gail Kantak, the state wildland fire supervisor for the Iowa DNR, reminds fire departments that they should send her a Wildland Fire Report whenever they respond to a wildland fire or provide assistance to a prescribed or controlled wildland fire.
Departments actively returning these reports can receive priority points in the Volunteer Fire Assistance grant application scoring process.
“It is important for rural fire departments to return these reports so we can assess the actual demands on our rural fire departments as a result of wildfire activity,” Kantak said. “The wildland fire reports are compiled locally and nationally and reported to Congress.”
The Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant applications are due Oct. 15.
In mid-June, fire departments were mailed information about the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant.
The grant application package and the Wildland Fire Report form are also available online at www.iowadnr. gov/fire.
For more information, contact Gail Kantak at gail.kantak@dnr.iowa.gov, 515-233-8067 or 515-233-1161.