Governor Polis, State Forest Service Announce 31 Wildfire Mitigation Grants

Monday, April 1, 2024

DENVER – Today, Governor Jared Polis announced awards for the 2023-2024 Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) grant program grant cycle. In total, the Colorado State Forest Service will award $7.2 million to 31 projects in 17 counties across Colorado.

“Colorado is a leader in wildfire prevention, mitigation and response and we continue working to ensure our communities have the resources they need. This new support will  protect people, homes, and  infrastructure and reduce wildfire threats,” said Governor Jared Polis. 

Wildfire risk remains in Colorado, even after a cooler, wetter 2023. The milder conditions last year resulted in more flammable vegetation near our homes and communities, and some parts of the state still experience drought conditions. The State of Colorado provides funding to assist communities and groups across Colorado to reduce their wildfire risk and promote forest health through the Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation (FRWRM) grant program, administered by the Colorado State Forest Service.

The FRWRM grant program has a matching requirement, either through cash or in-kind contributions. Applicants in areas with fewer economic resources, as defined by the social vulnerability index layer within the Colorado Forest Atlas, must match 25 percent of the project total, and other applicants must match 50 percent of the total project cost, amounting to more than $8 million in match. With these matching funds included, communities and groups across Colorado will invest more than $15 million in efforts dedicated to forest restoration and wildfire mitigation. The projects awarded in this funding cycle will treat 3,715 acres in forests and communities across Colorado.

The funding for this round of FRWRM awards will help Coloradans complete the following activities:

  • Build community capacity to address wildfire
  • Reduce the risk of wildfire to people, property and infrastructure
  • Promote forest health and restoration
  • Encourage the use of wood from forest health and fuels reduction projects

“These local grants play an important role in protecting lives, property and the Colorado way of life,” said Matt McCombs, state forester and CSFS director. “The need for these resources, to ensure resilient forests and lower the risk of wildfire across the state, cannot be overstated.”

These counties received FRWRM funds during this funding cycle: Boulder, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Garfield, Grand, Huerfano, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Montezuma, Park, Pitkin and Routt. Of the 31 projects receiving funding, 11 are located in areas with fewer economic resources. Review a full list of awardees.

“The Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation is funding strategic forestry and wildfire mitigation projects, building fire adapted communities and resilient landscapes in Colorado,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “These matching funds bring sustainable and needed investments in wildfire mitigation and forest health making an on the ground difference for Colorado communities.”

For the 2023-2024 round of FRWRM grants, the CSFS received 79 eligible applications requesting more than $18 million. Since $7.2 million was available for this round of grants, 48 projects totaling nearly $11 million could not be funded, leaving 4,890 acres untreated.

The CSFS will announce the next round of funding assistance through the FRWRM grant program in fall 2024. For information about the program, visit the CSFS website.