Ala. Forestry Comm. grants for control burning, mulching

MONTGOMERY, AL - If you own 250 or less forest acres in Alabama, are interested in control burning 10-80 acres or mulching up to 5 acres, and are not enrolled in another cost-share program, you may be eligible for a new grant. Your chances of receiving these grant monies are even greater if you've never previously performed hazardous fuel reduction on your property.

The Alabama Forestry Commission has been selected to administer the Prescribed Burning and Hazardous Fuel Reduction Grant, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) program. Private, non-industrial landowners may enroll all or a portion of their property into the program for fuel reduction. The sign-up period for the program is July 15 through August 27, 2010. Landowners can apply for the program by printing and completing the application which is available through their local Alabama Forestry Commission office or online at the AFC website:

Utilizing prescribed burning and mechanical mulching, this grant program is designed to assist rural landowners and residents in the wildland urban interface reduce the potential risk and devastation from wildfire.

Prescribed burning is fire applied in a skillful manner under exacting conditions to a specific area for a definite forest management objective. Prescribed fire is a way to mimic the natural occurrence of fire in southern pine uplands. Mulching or chipping are methods used to reduce understory and ground vegetation with portable equipment. These methods are utilized in urban settings where smoke from prescribed burning may pose a problem.

By being proactive and taking some simple precautions, you may reduce the impact of a wildfire on your home or forestland through this program.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Forestry Commission