Landowners in the high plains region of Texas who construct vegetative fuel breaks on their property may be eligible for reimbursement. Through Feb. 15, 2019, Texas A&M Forest Service is accepting applications that could result in reimbursement to eligible recipients of up to $2,500 for the cost of trees, weed barriers, planting contractors, drip irrigation systems, and other items associated with the creation of vegetative fuel breaks.
“This grant is intended to help protect communities in the high plains by reducing the risks of catastrophic wildfire events on both public and private lands,” said Logan Scherschel, wildland urban interface specialist III with Texas A&M Forest Service. “Our hope is that landowners will apply for this grant and then construct vegetative fuel breaks on their property ahead of fire season.”
Green vegetative fuel breaks are trees and shrubs that are systematically planted adjacent to fields, homesteads, or feedlots as a barrier to reduce or redirect the wind. As a result, the fuel breaks can impact wind-driven fire behavior that will allow time for residents or firefighters to evacuate before the fire impacts nearby homes or structures.
Fuel break projects eligible for the grant funds will consist of three rows of trees minimum and span at least 400 feet in length.
Scherschel said Texas A&M Forest Service representatives are happy to answer any questions landowners have regarding the application process or how a vegetative fuel break can mitigate the risk of property damage caused by wildfires.
All grant applicants will be notified of a decision by March 15, 2019. Texas A&M Forest Service does not complete the actual planting and building of the vegetative fuel break but will conduct an on-site assessment of the landowner’s property prior to the approval of an application. If an application is approved, Texas A&M Forest Service will then further discuss the project details with the recipient.
Interested landowners may visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/CommunitiesinAction/ for a copy of the application. Application packages must be mailed to the contact information listed below.
Texas A&M Forest Service
Mitigation & Prevention Department
15110 Jones Maltsberger STE 101
San Antonio, Texas 78247