News Story
Posted by Transylvania County on April 4, 2022

 

Anything that can burn is fuel for a fire. During a wildland fire all kinds of plant material can act as fuel - grasses, shrubs, trees, dead leaves, and fallen pine needles. As these burnable materials pile up, so do the chances of catastrophic wildland fire. In the right conditions, excess fuel allows fires to burn hotter, larger, longer, and faster, making them more difficult and dangerous to manage.

Houses and other developments near forests or other undeveloped areas (aka: wildland urban interface) are vulnerable to wildfires because they’re essentially surrounded by fuel. The extent and density of vegetation around a structure influence the ability of firefighters to prevent it from burning in a wildfire. There are simple fuel treatments (wildfire mitigation tasks) that can make unwanted wildfires less likely and easier to manage. By learning to live with fire, we improve public and firefighter safety and reduce impacts of fire when it occurs.

Mountain Valleys RC&D’s Mitigation Cost-Share Assistance Program offers 50% reimbursement for residents within our eight-county region to hire out a contractor or rent equipment to reduce their home’s risk of ignition from wildfire. Preference given to homes or communities within a moderate-to-high wildfire risk area.  This program can assist residents living in the following WNC counties: Buncombe, Madison, Henderson, McDowell, Polk, Transylvania, Cleveland, & Rutherford Counties.

The current round of funding ends December 31, 2022 or when funds are depleted. To receive reimbursement, proof of payment must be submitted by Friday, December 10, 2022. Reimbursements are not guaranteed if paperwork is submitted post-deadline.  To receive cost-share assistance, residents must apply and sign a reimbursement agreement before the project begins.    

To qualify, the mitigation work must be within 100 feet of the home or within a 10-foot buffer along driveway access.  hare. A resident may choose up to 2 contractors to complete tasks (no more than 2 contractors on the application). Residents can apply for cost-share assistance once per calendar year.  The reimbursement amount is capped at $2,000 (50% of $4,000 project). If you have a quote that is above $4,000, it can accept it, but the program cannot reimburse more than $2000.

You are encouraged to use this checklist as you’re going through the cost-share assistance process. Contact Jen Haas to submit paperwork and ask questions:   [email protected] or 828-206-6159.