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Dublin FD awarded wildfire grant

Courtesy photo
Deanie Hall of State Farm presents members of the Dublin Fire Department with a $500 grant to help purchase needed equipment.

By DAVID GRAVELY

editor@southwesttimes.com

At a recent gathering of firefighters from around the area, the Dublin Fire Department was awarded a $500 grant from the National Fire Protection Association and State Farm to assist in purchasing needed equipment to help protect the community from the dangers of wildfires.

Wildfires across the United States have taken over 100 lives and caused more than $25 billion in property loss during the past two years.

Money from the grant will go toward the purchase of equipment like chain saws and leaf blowers that firefighters use not only to fight fires, but to help minimize damage. Residents may recall the Draper Mountain fire from April 2016 that burned a large portion of one hillside after a brush pile that was being burned got out of control.

Many of the homes in the Draper Mountain Estates part of Pulaski County were spared damage due to the prevention efforts by Pulaski County firefighters who earlier had assessed the area as dangerous. Areas around those homes were cleaned up, moving possible fire lines far enough away from the homes to help prevent damage.

This grant is one of 150 awarded to communities across 27 states in support of activities for Wildfire Preparedness Day.

The Dublin Volunteer Fire Department held a free community event May 4 at Randolph Park to help educate people on the abilities of the department and ways to help protect your home.

The event included a live prescribed burn demonstration to show how prescribed burning can reduce hazardous fuels as well as benefiting wildlife and plant habitat. There were also stations to teach landscaping and mitigation techniques on how to make your home “Firewise,” including how to make a defensible space around your home. Information was also available about the benefits from becoming a Firewise Community and the available grant funding to assist with that.

Members of the Virginia Department of Forestry, local fire departments and a Professor of Fire Ecology from Virginia Tech were also available to discuss effects of wildfires and answer questions.

For more information on National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, including resources, videos and tip sheets, visit www.wildfireprepday.org.

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