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11:14 PM Thu, Sept. 20th

Mountain Club is focus of new Prescott Fire Dept. fuels reduction grant

Members of the Prescott Fire Department’s Wildland Brush Crew load limbs, leaves, and debris into a chipper on Vista Ridge Road in 2014. (Courier file photo)

Courier file photos

Members of the Prescott Fire Department’s Wildland Brush Crew load limbs, leaves, and debris into a chipper on Vista Ridge Road in 2014. (Courier file photo)

The Mountain Club neighborhood will join three other forested Prescott areas in getting grant help to reduce the risk of fire by removing hazardous fuels.

The City of Prescott announced this week that the Prescott Fire Department has been approved for an $82,674 grant to support the Mountain Club Hazardous Fuels Reduction project. The grant is administered by the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

According to Prescott Fire Chief Dennis Light, city Fire Department fuels staff submitted the Mountain Club grant request in May 2018, for the 2018 Arizona Wildland Fire Hazardous Fuels Grant Program.

“The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) anticipated providing funding assistance to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire management for mitigation of fire risk in Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) areas and for the protection of Arizona communities through reduction of hazardous forest and woodland fuels,” a city news release states.

The grant are awarded through a competitive process, with an emphasis on hazardous fuel reduction and community protection. Marsha Collier, Fuels Management Coordinator for the City of Prescott, explained that all projects require a minimum of 10 percent non-federal match contribution (90 percent grant, 10 percent match).

Grant money is disbursed on a reimbursement basis after the recipients incur the costs and report accomplishments and expenses to Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, the release added.

Eligible grant recipients include fire departments and fire districts, government organizations, universities and non-profit organizations.

Projects must be on non-federal lands such as state, private and local government. Awards are not to exceed $200,000 of grant funding per project, and organizations are limited to one project application for the 2018 cycle.

Collier said the projects should be fully achievable within two years from the award date. She added that the area in the Mountain Club was chosen due to location of the properties, in accordance with the Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CCWP). The U.S. Forest Service is currently working in the same area creating a fuel break along the forest boundary.

Light noted that the 2002 Indian Fire burned to the area that the grant will address. “The fire burned right up to homes and was thankfully stopped,” he said. “We see this area as a high priority based on location, fuel type and emergency response access. This area directly borders the City of Prescott.”

The city currently has three other grant projects in the program, including Goldwater Lake, Groom Creek, and Senator Highway.

More information about this project, and other fuels mitigation efforts in the City of Prescott is available by calling Division Chief Don Devendorf at 928-777-1761.