Utah Receives Over $5.5 Million in Community Wildfire Defense Grant Funding 

SALT LAKE (May 15, 2024) – On Tuesday, the US Department of Agriculture announced its second round of funding of project proposals as a part of the Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG) program. Three entities within Utah received over $5.5 million to be spent on protecting homes, businesses and infrastructure from catastrophic wildfires. 

Recipients in Utah that are a part of this round of funding include the Shivwits Band of Paiute Indians, Salt Lake City Fire Department and Rim to Rim Restoration. 

“The CWDG application process was extremely competitive this year, prioritizing those applications that wanted to update their Community Wildfire Protection Plan,” said Paul Briggs, Fire Grants Coordinator for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. “The money received in this round of CWDG funding will directly impact cities, counties, and the Shivwits Band of Paiute Indians in Utah. Recipients will use the funds to update their CWPP or conduct ongoing project work, which will help create resiliency by reducing the hazardous fuels that threaten their communities.” 

The CWDG program is a 5-year program made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The grant helps communities in the wildland-urban interface become fire-adapted, create and maintain resilient landscapes and ensure safe and effective wildfire response.  

Grant proposals undergo a nationally competitive selection process and are reviewed using guidelines within the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. They prioritize at-risk communities impacted by a severe disaster, have a high or very high potential for wildfire hazard, and are classified as low-income.

This is the second round of funding that has come from CWDG. In 2023, Utah received $5,086,617 during the first round to address wildfire crisis needs. 

Organizations interested in applying for CWDG funding in the next round should contact Paul Briggs, Statewide Grant Coordinator, at pbriggs@utah.gov.   

Shivwits Band of Paiutes Indians, Shivwits Band of the Paiute Indians CWPP – $73,172

The Shivwits Band of the Paiute Indians received funding in this round to update their Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) within the Shivwits Reservation Area. A CWPP is a collaborative planning effort to provide the community a way of reducing their wildfire risk and creating resiliency around their community to the impacts of wildfires. Projects identified specifically in the CWPP are good candidates for funding in future rounds.

Salt Lake City Fire Department, Salt Lake City CWPP – $239,050

Salt Lake City Fire Department will use its funding to update and rewrite its CWPP. The CWPP will collaboratively address ways to reduce wildfire risk within city limits. 

Rim to Rim Restoration, Moab Valley Fire Hazard Reduction Project – $5,213,146

Rim to Rim Restoration in Moab, Utah, received funding to help complete ongoing fuels mitigation work, including fuel breaks along creek corridors, connecting existing fuel breaks, monitoring vegetation response and implementing active revegetation measures to reduce wildfire intensity and impact. High-priority areas of the project will be around underserved residents, and the aim is to reduce hazardous fuel loading.