Derry area fire departments receive grant funding to help fight wildfires

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca announced that two fire departments in Westmoreland County are recipients of grants to help communities guard against forest fires.

Derry Township Volunteer Fire Dept. No. 1 in Bradenville and Derry Volunteer Fire Department have been awarded $7,500 and $4,223, respectively.

"These grants will come in handy for these two departments," said Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana. "With nearly 3,000 acres of state game lands at their door, it's important they also be prepared to handle forest and brush fires."

The grants are used for wildfire-suppression equipment, protective clothing, portable radios, water supply installations, wildfire prevention and mitigation, training and maintenance on vehicles used for fire suppression.

Local fire departments in rural area or communities with fewer than 10,000 residents qualify for the program.

Grants are provided through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Bureau of Forestry, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. The maximum award is $7,500.

Aid is granted on a cost-share basis, with recipients supplying matching funds. The Bureau of Forestry will begin accepting 2017 applications online next spring.