Central Texas Communities at Risk (CTX CAR) - Mechanical Fuel Reduction Grant

    Grant Funded Through USDA – Forest Service

    Award # 22-DG-11083148-001 & 23-DG11083148-001  CFDA: 10.664 

    CFDA #10.664



     Grant recipients will be announced below and notified by mail.


    Scope of Project: Reduce the risk of home loss to wildfire through the use of accepted mechanical fuel reduction practices. Projects will be located in Burnet, Comal, Hays and Williamson Counties. These 4 counties in Central Texas were identified by Texas A&M Forest Service Mitigation and Prevention Department and Applied Technology Department as high priority (see eligible map). The goal of the grant is to protect communities at risk by completing fuel reduction on private and public lands.


    Grant recipients will be reimbursed for actual costs up to the thresholds listed below for conducting mechanical fuel reduction projects on their property. Work will be conducted by a hired contractor of the landowner’s choosing. The contracting service hired must not be affiliated with the landowner. Work cannot be conducted by the landowner. Previous work conducted before pre-inspections will not be accepted. Individual landowners may submit more than one application per different project location. Landowners may be approved for more than one application.

    Maximum Total Reimbursement per recipient: Grant recipients will be reimbursed actual costs not to exceed $750 per acre (see treatment descriptions below). Total limit of reimbursement per grant recipient is $10,000. The minimum reimbursement per grant recipient is $750, even if area treated is less than 1 acre. Reimbursable costs are limited to those expenditures listed on a contractor's invoice that are directly related to fuel reduction actions that create defensible space around a structure, the installation of the fuel breaks to protect structures, and/or the rental of equipment that is directly related to the fuel reduction activities or installation of the fuel break. The purchase of equipment is not reimbursable. Paid in full invoices are required documentation prior to our agency reimbursing actual costs.

    Hand-cutting to Create Defensible Space ($750/Acre) –Thinning, pruning, cutting, and debris disposal to create defensible space around homes and structures in the wildland urban interface. Trees are thinned with chainsaws and/or other tools to remove them from the home ignition zone, prevent fire spreading between crowns, and allow access for firefighting. Branches of remaining trees are pruned up, ladder fuels removed or reduced, bushes and flammable vegetation in the home ignition zone removed or reduced. All debris generated from these activities, including all dead woody debris, and cut limbs and brush, must be removed from the property or mechanically reduced to chips. Projects that create defensible space between 0 to 100 ft of the house/structure will be given priority. These projects may occur up to 300 ft in all directions from the home and/or associate structures. 


    Site dominated with juniper/mesquite mixed overstory prior to construction of a hand-cut shaded fuel break, Bexar County, Texas.


    Completed hand-cut shaded fuel break to reduce wildfire risk on a site with dense juniper/mesquite overstory in Bexar County, Texas..


    Hand-cut or Mulched Fuel Break ($750/Acre) – The fuel break is a linear treatment a minimum of 66’ wide and positioned to protect homes or structures from wildfires. Trees are thinned with hand cutting tools or a forestry mulcher (masticator) so open gaps are created in crown overstory. Branches of remaining trees are pruned up; dead woody debris and understory brush is removed. Hand cut fuel breaks should be located in strategic locations like along property lines, along access roads, or between unmanaged lands and manicured areas. Priority will be given to projects that are positioned to protect homes and structures. These projects may also occur as landscape-wide treatments within wildland areas between homes in a community. 


    Dense woody vegetation in close proximity to multiple structures near a community in Bell County, Texas.


    Landscape-wide shaded fuel break constructed with a forestry mulcher in Bell County, Texas

     2024 SFAM Mechanical Fuel Reduction Eligible Map

    Application Process: This grant is competitive, and selection will be based on the goal of reducing wildfire risk to homes. Applications for the grant will open April 1st and close April 30th. They will then be reviewed by Texas A&M Forest Service Fuels Team and approved/declined based on the intent of the grant. Approval or declined notification letters for applicates will be mailed by May 31st. We do not guarantee acceptance based on previous year approvals.


    The landowner is required to complete all questions on the online application to be considered. The landowner will need to create a map of the proposed project area displaying property owner’s boundary, location of proposed fuel treatment or fuel break, dimensions of treatment, and landowner name with aerial imagery as map background. All incomplete maps may result in disqualification. The applicant must submit contractor information and an estimate ($) of service. The last section of the online application will help calculate the estimated reimbursement using the entered project type and dimensions. Pictures of the landscape, topography and overall vegetation may be submitted for consideration. Individual landowners may submit more than one application per different project location. Treatment dimensions on one application should not overlap another application. Landowners may be approved for more than one application

    If approved, the approval letter will include a W-9 Tax Form, a Terms of Conditions Form, and your submitted application for the landowner to sign and return to Texas A&M Forest Service within 5 weeks. Applicants may switch contractors until the signed application with updated contractor information is received. Once all documents are received by Texas A&M Forest Service, the landowner will receive a letter to coordinate a pre-inspection. Only after the pre-inspection has been completed may work begin. If the contractor declines or fails to complete the work by the deadline, then the applicant may re-apply the following grant cycle. This is only available on the first occurrence. Failing to complete the work 2 years in a row will result in automatic disqualification the 3rd cycle/year.

    A Texas A&M Forest Service staff member will reach out to schedule the pre-inspection. Any work conducted before pre-inspections will not be considered for reimbursement. The Texas A&M Forest Service employee will take pre-treatment photos, confirm the dimensions of your project, and answer any remaining questions about the grant process.All debris generated from the project must be removed from the property or dispersed as mulch or chips. If any debris generated from this project is left on landowner’s property, we may not cover reimbursement.

    The hired contractor will have up to 180 days to complete all work. If work is not completed by the end of the 180-day term, the landowner can be reimbursed for the acreage that was completed. The landowner may also apply again next year for any acreage missed. No extensions will be granted this year. Invoices must have project address and county, description of work conducted, acreage completed and show the balance paid in full or zero balanced.

    After the contractor completes their work, the landowner will contact us to schedule a post-inspection visit which will verify any work completed. The post-inspection will calculate acreage and verify dimensions were met in the approved location. After the post-inspection, the landowner must submit their receipts and invoices for reimbursement. Once the post-inspection is conducted and the reimbursement forms have been submitted, Texas A&M Forest Service will process all documentation and mail your reimbursement check. 

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     *At all times during and after termination of this award, grant recipient shall, to the extent authorized under Texas law, indemnify and hold harmless Texas A&M Forest Service, The Texas A&M University System, its regents, officers, employees and affiliates against any claim, proceeding, demand, liability, or expenses (including legal expenses and reasonable attorneys’ fees) which relates to injury to persons or property or against any other claim, proceeding, demand, expenses and liability of any kind arising out of or in connection with grant recipients performance under this grant agreement.*


    CTX CAR Mechanical Fuel Reduction Grant Timeline

    CTX CAR Mechanical Fuels Reduction Grant FAQ

    CTX CAR Mechanical Fuels Reduction Grant Eligibility Map  

    SFAM Mechanical Fuels Grant Summary FY 2022


    FY 2023-2024 SFAM Mechanical Fuel Reduction Grant Accepted Applications List

    SFAM MFR Winner Tables_FY2022-2023

    SFAM MFR Winner Tables_FY2021-2022

    SFAM MFR Winner Tables_FY2020-2021