News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Recovery group reels in $242,266 OSFM grant

The Santiam Canyon Long-Term Recovery Group has been awarded a grant from the Oregon State Fire Marshal to support community wildfire risk reduction programs.

The Santiam Canyon agency was one of more than 100 organizations that received grant funding from the state, which is dispersing $18 million. The SCLTRG received $242,266, and agency officials said they are still working on how they will spend the award.

The funds are designed, state fire officials said, to help communities across Oregon reach their goals of improving wildfire resiliency, using local programs and solutions.

Projects receiving funding include community-wide wildfire defensible space programs, vegetation removal around buildings, community chipping programs, community education related to wildfire preparedness, equipment for vegetation removal, and staff to support these local efforts.

“This grant will allow communities to create proactive, local solutions to lessen the impacts of wildfire,” Oregon State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple said. “We know that wildfire can happen anywhere in Oregon. Investing in communities in all areas of our state will bring much-needed community risk reduction and resiliency projects and programs to life.” 

The CWRR grant was available to local governments, special districts, structural fire service agencies, and non-governmental organizations to support wildfire risk reduction projects, equipment, and staff. 

In total, 161 entities applied to fund 269 projects totaling a requested $44.5 million, highlighting the need for these grants to support important work in communities across Oregon. 

The only other Santiam Canyon agency to receive a grant was the Stayton Fire District, which received $44,500. Stayton Fire has Canyon stations in Mehama and Elkhorn as well as its Stayton and Marion stations.

Stayton Chief Jay Alley noted that the new funding is part of a crop of district grant assistance that totals approximately $100,000.

The $44,500 community risk reduction grant, Alley said, will provide equipment for fuel hazard reduction around and near structures. The funds will pay for a trailer with two removable containers that will haul away material. The program will be available area wide and delivered upon request to a home or neighborhood. This program will start this summer and be available into the future.

Other grants include:

A $5,000 Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund grant for the purchase of wildland protective shirts and pants to replace deteriorating wildland clothing. The district will contribute $8,000 and will be able to outfit all personnel, Alley said. 

A $10,000 Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) fire adapted home grant will provide funds to conduct wildfire risk reduction activities to the service area. The funds will be used for outreach and education, publications and wildfire risk reduction planning and assistance. The focus is on vulnerable populations and rural/wildland urban interface communities.  

A $35,000 Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) wildfire season staffing grant to pay for the hiring of additional staff. With the grant money the Stayton Fire District will hire 2 seasonal firefighters to staff a brush rig for all incident responses.

“The district has been very fortunate to receive ALL these grants and looks forward to providing valuable information and resources to our local communities,” Alley said.

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