National Fire Plan Rural Fire Assistance

To implement the National Fire Plan by increasing firefighter safety and enhancing the knowledge and fire protection capability of rural fire departments by providing assistance in education and training, protective clothing and equipment purchase, and support to public education efforts on a cost share
basis.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - Contact Regional/State/Local Office: See Catalog Appendix IV for addresses.


Program Accomplishments

An average of 1,200 Rural Fire Departments are provided assistance each year for technical assistance, training, supplies, equipment and public education support.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Emphasis is placed on fire departments that protect rural communities and play a substantial cooperative role in the protection of the Department of the Interior managed public lands.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State and local government, Public nonprofit institution/organizations, Other public institution/organization, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Government, Private nonprofit institution/organization, Native American Organization, and rural fire departments serving a community with a population of 10,000 or less in the wildland/urban interface.

All applicants must be rural fire departments serving a community with a population of 10,000 or less in the wildland/urban interface.

Beneficiary Eligibility

State, Local, Public Nonprofit Institution/Organization, Other Public Institution/Organization, Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Government, Small Business, Profit Organization, Private Organization, Anyone/General Public, Native American Organization, Farmer/Rancher/Agriculture Producer, Homeowner, Land/Property Owner, Suburban, and Rural.

Credentials/Documentation

For grants awarded, cost will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and Local Governments; OMB Circular No. A-21 for educational institutions; OMB Circular No. A-122 for nonprofit organizations; and Federal Acquisition Regulation Subpart 31.2 for private foundations, firms, individuals, and other nonprofits excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-122.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Coordinate applications with the local BLM State or District Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs Regional Office, Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office, or a National Park Service Regional Office or National Park unit.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Rural Fire Assistance is coordinated through each State Forester and the Bureau/Service State or Regional Office, or National Park unit. Procedures may be found on the National Fire Plan website at: http://www.fireplan.gov. No specific application forms apply, except for grants awarded, the standard application forms furnished by the Federal agency and required by 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart C, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments," and 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart F, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations", must be used by this program.

Award Procedures

To ensure consistency within existing rural fire assistance programs, the Department of the Interior bureaus work with the State Foresters and other Federal partners to ensure that funding is allocated in the amount of the award to qualified and suitable rural fire districts. The following criteria applies for a fire department to participate in the program: Statewide agreement with the State Forester, who maintains cooperative fire agreements with the rural fire department/volunteer fire department, or a cooperative fire agreement with an Interior Bureau; rural fire department serving a community with a population of 10,000 or less in the wildland/urban interface; and the funding request is limited to training, equipment, and prevention activities. The rural fire department must have the capability to meet cost share at a minimum of 10% which may include in-kind services.

Deadlines

Contact the State or regional office, as appropriate for application deadlines.

Authorization

Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2005, Title I, Public Law 108-447. This program was first implemented in the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2001, Title IV, Public Law 106-291.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Rural fire assistance projects are approved by the Bureau/Service/Park Unit in coordination with the State Forester and other Federal partners. Normally all grant requests are received and awards made during the same fiscal year.

Appeals

None.

Renewals

None.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program includes matching requirements. For example, rural fire departments must have the capability to meet cost share at a minimum of 10 percent, which may include in kind services.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Most projects are funded on a single year basis and funds are expended during the fiscal year of the award.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Performance monitoring schedules and/or progress reports will be developed in consultation with the applicant, but at a minimum will take place at least once during the life of a project.

Audits

Projects will be audited at least once during life cycle. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

Records relating to work performed and costs are kept by the recipient. There is no fixed records schedule. Records for grants awarded to State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments will be maintained in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart C, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments." Records for grants awarded to nonprofit organizations will be maintained in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart F, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Nonprofit Organizations".

Financial Information

Account Identification

Bureau of Land Management -
14-1125-0-1-302; Bureau of Indian Affairs - 14-1125-0-1-302; Fish and
Wildlife Service - 14-1125-0-1-302; National Park Service -
14-1125-0-1-302.

Obigations

FY 07 $0; FY 08 est $6,032,000; and FY 09 est $0.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$1000 to $20,000; $6000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

The Department of the Interior's rural fire assistance program is guided by the provisions of the National Fire Plan. A variety of public information on this plan is available by contacting the appropriate Bureau/Service Office or the National Fire Plan's web site at: http://www.fireplan.gov.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Contact Regional/State/Local Office: See Catalog Appendix IV for addresses.

Headquarters Office

BLM: Chief, Community Protection and Assistance, Planning Resources Group, Bureau of Land Management (FA 130), National Interagency Fire Center, 3833 S. Development Ave, Boise, ID 83705. Telephone: (208) 387-5169. BIA: Assistant Director, Fire Operations, Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Interagency Fire Center, 3833 S. Development Ave, Boise, ID 83705. Telephone: (208) 387-5372. FWS: Fire Management Specialist, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Interagency Fire Center, 3833 S. Development Ave, Boise, ID 83705. Telephone: (208) 387-5976. NPS: National Fire Operations Program Leader, National Park Service, National Interagency Fire Center, 3833 S. Development Ave, Boise, ID 83705. Telephone: (208) 387-5226.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Criteria for ranking eligible Rural Fire Departments, relative to other applicants, for funding allocation are: The fire department's frequency of responses to wildland/urban fire incidents in the local area; the fire department's wildland prevention and education program needs; the fire department's training program needs; the communities and Department of the Interior's values to be protected; the percentage of wildland/urban lands; and the number of wildland fire engines in the department relative to the percentage of wildland/urban interface acres protected.



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