Community Wildfire Assistance

The Division of Forests & Lands' Forest Protection Bureau manages a variety of state and federal program available to communities to assist with wildfire protection.

hands signing a grant application

Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants

Funds are available for Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grants to fire suppression organizations in communities of less than 10,000 in population. The Division of Forests & Lands receives funding from the United States Forest Service for the VFA Grant Program. This is a 50/50 grant that allows the community to purchase approved wildfire equipment and seek reimbursement up to their awarded grant amount.

Grant applications are sent to Forest Fire Wardens and Fire Chiefs each July and have a submission deadline of September 30th.  Grants are awarded in October and must be completed by August 30th.

  • In 2022, 46 communities received $85,795.49
  • In 2021, 33 communities received $41,300.26
  • In 2020, 29 communities received $39,799.97

Items purchased by communities through this grant include: forestry hose, hose bags, fireline packs, headlamps, hard hats, foam nozzles, hose clamps, backpack leaf blowers, wildland shirts, gloves, backpack pumps, handtools, high pressure pumps, foot valves, suction hose, ball check valves, hand primers, wildland pants, goggles, chainsaws, UTV skid units, GPS units, mop-up kits and more

Federal Excess Property Program

The Division of Forests & Lands is the state coordinator for two national programs available to towns and cities which provide an opportunity to acquire firefighting equipment at no cost.

They are the Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) program and Firefighter Property Program (FFP). Both programs operated by the Federal government offer practically any type of equipment, vehicles and apparatus required in wildland firefighting and prevention efforts. A written agreement between the town and the state is required and the state will register the federally owned equipment. The only cost for acquisition is the transportation of the item to the town or city. Transportation costs can be reduced if the town or city is able to arrange retrieval of the item using their own personnel.

The primary difference between the two programs is that with the FFP program, after the item acquired has been in service for 1 year, the ownership of that item is transferred to the town or city. With the FEPP program, the item remains the property of the Federal government. When the item is no longer serviceable or needed by the town, it must be returned to the State for potential reuse by another agency.

If a town or city is interested in acquiring equipment from either program, it can submit an FFP form or FEPP form Equipment Request Form from the DNCR FFP/FEPP Coordinator.

wildland firefighters’ gear and helmet ready for deployment to a wildfire

Town Tool Program

This program allows towns to order fire equipment and personal protective equipment directly through the Division of Forests & Lands. Equipment can be ordered directly through the town's assigned Forest Ranger or by contacting the Concord office at: 603-271-2214.

The deadline for ordering equipment through the state town tool program for VFA grant equipment is June 1st as orders placed after June 1st will not arrive and be processed before the VFA August 30th deadline.

Town Tool List  

Prescribed Fire

Prescribed fire is used in New Hampshire to meet a range of management objectives relating to public safety, forest-based recreation, wildlife management, silviculture, agriculture, invasives species management, and sustaining natural communities.

In order to more safely, efficiently, and effectively use this management tool, several New Hampshire organizations and agencies met to discuss opportunities to address shared needs and goals. After initial meetings, which included a full range of stakeholders, the New Hampshire Prescribed Fire Council was formed.

The New Hampshire Prescribed Fire Council websitehas information that is useful toward planning and implementing prescribed fires.

Community Wildfire Defense Grants

The Community Wildfire Defense Grants (CWDG) are intended to help at-risk local communities and Tribes plan and reduce the risk against wildfire. The grants are funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

There are two primary project types for which the grant provides funding:

  • The development and revision of Community Wildfire Protection Plans.
  • The implementation of projects described in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan that is less than ten years old.

CWDG Process & Application