March 28, 2023

    Central Texas fuels reduction grant opens April 1

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Central Texas landowners can apply April 1, 2023 for the SFAM Mechanical Fuels Reduction Grant to help reduce risks posed to their property by wildfire.

    The State Fire Assistance for Mitigation (SFAM) – Mechanical Fuels Grant offers financial assistance to landowners to reduce fuels at high-risk for wildfire by using fuel reduction practices.

    “The grant will help provide wildfire protection to the fastest growing area in the state,” said Victoria Wenkman, Texas A&M Forest Service Fuels Program Specialist. “Historically, fire has been part of the natural process in Texas, however with the rapid increase in population coupled with fragmentation of wildland areas, fire has been taken out of its normal interval pattern. Mechanical fuels reduction provides an alternative, reducing overall wildfire threat.”

    Funding will be provided to eligible public and private landowners for reimbursement of costs associated with hand-cut fuel breaks using chainsaws or mechanical mulching using mechanical brush cutters, forestry mulchers and similar equipment.

    Fuel breaks are modified sections of vegetation that can decrease intensity of fires, protect first responders via wider access lanes and inhibit or slow incoming wildfires.

    “Fuel breaks have multiple benefits for both vegetation and wildlife,” said Wenkman. “Fuel breaks reduce competition of invasive trees, free-up vital resources such as water and light for larger trees and reduce ladder fuels. Shaded fuel breaks also increase soil surface moisture and allow first responders better access in case of emergency.”

    Thirty-two counties in Central Texas are eligible for funding of costs not to exceed $750 per acre for hand-cut fuel breaks or $2,000 per acre for mulched fuel breaks. The maximum reimbursement for either method is $10,000.

    Applications are due April 30, 2023.

    After the deadline, submissions will be ranked on their value to mitigate wildfire impacts, and approval or denial letters will be sent by May 31, 2023. Once approved, applicants have 180 days to complete the fuel break work.

    Learn more about the State Fire Assistance for Mitigation – Mechanical Fuel Reduction grant, view an eligibility map and apply here:


    Texas A&M Forest Service Contacts:
    Victoria Wenkman, Fuels Program Specialist III,
    Communications Office, 979-458-6606,