St. Louis County receives $900K grant to reduce wildfire risk

Minnesota wildfires
Minnesota wildfires
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 12:28 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - St. Louis County will be receiving a nearly $900,000 grant to reduce the risk of wildfires.

Officials for St. Louis County say it will be receiving the money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service to help plan for and mitigate wildfire risks within the county.

The proposal is one of 100 projects selected nationwide to receive a portion of the $197 million through the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program, which is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

For many years, the county has participated in the Firewise Program.

This program assists private property owners whose land is adjacent to federal land, to help them reduce wildfire risk on their property.

New grant funding will broaden the scope of the program to assist other private property owners to reduce their wildfire risk.

Funding from the grant will be used to assist fire departments, lake and road associations, and township boards in the highest wildfire risk areas in St. Louis County to increase wildfire awareness, reduce fuels, and provide opportunities to help their communities be more wildfire resilient.

Officials say they will provide more information to these organizations once details are finalized on how they can partner with the county in these efforts.

“We are thankful and excited to receive this funding,” St. Louis County Sheriff Gordon Ramsay said. “We’ve seen the positive results from Firewise, and so to be able to expand where we can offer these services will make a big difference.”

St. Louis County contracts with Dovetail Partners to coordinate Firewise.

They expect to continue working with them on the broadened program.