CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Funding for fighting wildfires is being made available to volunteer fire companies across the state.
The funding, available through the DCNR, is open for applications through May 13. These grants will provide necessary help to these volunteer fire companies, who are often severely under-manned.
Every fire department across Clearfield County is 100% volunteer, making these funds even more crucial for these fire departments who have access to limited resources, allowing them to invest in additional equipment.
“There’s never enough money, and the cost of equipment keeps on increasing every year,” said Sandy Township Volunteer fire chief Rob Burgeson. “Any bit of money that a volunteer fire department can get is huge relief to the fire company.”
There were 112 brush fires in Clearfield County in 2020. So far this year, there have already been 36, well on track to surpass last year’s total. And with every department being volunteer, Clearfield County’s 911 coordinator, who also volunteers at Lawrence Township Fire Company says this offers a unique challenge for these firefighters to get to the scene.
“A lot of these brushfires typically happen during the day when a lot of these guys that volunteer are at work,” Ruffner said.