The Arkansas Forestry Commission has been awarded an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant through the US Forest Service for wildfire hazard reduction on property in Arkansas impacted by the ice storm of January 2009.
The ice storm devastated the northern third of the state, producing large amounts of uprooted and broken trees. This debris will hinder firefighting crews and cause more intense wildland fires. In an effort to assist fire departments responding to wildland fires in the designated counties, $340,000 will be used to purchase items to supply fire departments with a wildland firefighting kit.  This kit will include:
·         2 backpack water pumps
·        2 backpack leaf blowers
·        2 chainsaws with chaps and helmets
·        5 council rakes
·        5 leaf broom rakes
The AFC will also host a two-hour enhanced Wildland Firefighting/Safety training class conducted by AFC personnel to address safety while fighting fire in high hazard fuels. This training will be made available to all departments in the affected counties. Training dates and locations will be announced at a later date.
Fire departments in the following counties are encouraged to apply: Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Conway, Craighead, Crawford, Cross, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Newton, Poinsett, Pope, Randolph, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren, and Washington.
AFC will begin accepting applications on Nov. 2, and all applications must be submitted by Dec. 2.  Applications are available online at or, or by calling the AFC at (501) 296-1940. Due to limited funds, kits will be awarded based on rating and date received in the Little Rock office. As a result, applications cannot be accepted if they are postmarked, hand-delivered or faxed before the Nov. 2 opening date.