Press Release from Arkansas Department of Agriculture
The Rural Fire Protection program, managed by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division, received $294,442.24 to purchase and distribute 96 Wildfire Suppression Kits to rural volunteer fire departments. The money was awarded as part of the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant from the United States Forest Service.
Volunteer fire departments are the primary partner of Forestry Division crews in wildfire response and
suppression, but they are often in need of the specialized equipment and gear necessary for safe
wildfire suppression. The equipment distributed this year in the Wildfire Suppression Kits included
lightweight wildfire-resistant coveralls and gloves, hand rakes, back-pack water pumps, and leaf
blowers. Since 2014, more than 490 volunteer fire departments have received Wildfire Suppression Kits
through the Rural Fire Protection program valued at $1,499,411.34.
Any volunteer fire department interested in participating in the Wildfire Suppression Kit program must
submit an application, which is then scored according to specific criteria including fire district
population, the size of the response area, wildfire equipment response needs, and other factors. The
next application period for the Wildfire Suppression Kit program is expected to begin August 2021.
Fire Departments should receive an application by mail, or they can be found at
http://www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/forestry/rural-fire-protection-program/ when the application period
opens. Fire Departments may contact Kathryn Mahan-Hooten at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 679-3183 with questions regarding the application.
Area Fire Departments receiving the kits include the Krooked Kreek, Omaha Rural, and Valley Springs Fire Districts in Boone County, the Haroco District in Searcy County, Hasty in Newton County, and Summit in Marion County.