Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program
News and Announcements
The Forest Service is now accepting applications for the second round of funding under the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program.
- Press Kit
- March 2023 Funded Projects
- News Release: USDA announces new round of investments in wildfire protection through Community Wildfire Defense Grants
About the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program
The Community Wildfire Defense Program, or CWDG, is intended to help at-risk local communities and Tribes; plan for and reduce the risk of wildfire.
This program, which was authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, prioritizes at-risk communities in an area identified as having high or very high wildfire hazard potential, are low-income, or have been impacted by a severe disaster that affects the risk of wildfire. More details on these three priorities can be found in the Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) below.
The program provides funding to communities for two primary purposes:
- Develop and revise Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP).
- Implement projects described in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan that is less than ten years old.
The Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program also helps communities in the wildland urban interface (WUI) implement the three goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.
- Restore and Maintain Landscapes: Landscapes across all jurisdictions are resilient to fire-related disturbances, in accordance with management objectives.
- Create Fire Adapted Communities: Human populations and infrastructure can better withstand a wildfire without loss of life and property.
- Improve Wildfire Response: All jurisdictions participate in making and implementing safe, effective, efficient risk-based wildfire management decisions.
How to Apply for the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program
- The second round of the Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program is now accepting applications!
- To apply, follow the instructions in the Notices of Funding Opportunity or search for the grant opportunity number specific for your notice (USDA-FS-2023-CWDG-TRIBES, USDA-FS-2023-CWDG-CWSF, USDA-FS-2023-CWDG-NEMW, USDA-FS-2023-CWDG-SGSF) at grants.gov.
- Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. eastern time on October 31, 2023.
Who Can Apply? Entities eligible to apply for at-risk communities for funding under the CWDG include:
- Units of local governments representing communities located in an area with a risk of wildfires,
- Indian Tribes (please apply through either the Indian Tribes/Alaska Native Corporations specific notice or the applicable regional notice),
- Non-profit organizations including homeowner associations that assist such communities,
- State forestry agencies (including U.S. territories and interests), and
- Alaska Native Corporations (please apply through either the Indian Tribes/Alaska Native Corporations specific notice or the applicable regional notice).
There are two categories of projects that can be applied for and will be evaluated separately:
- For Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) Development or Revision: One of the fundamental building blocks in creating a fire adapted community is the development, adoption and continuous use of a well-prepared CWPP. In some cases, a community may choose to utilize a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan or Tribal hazard mitigation plan with a wildfire component that meets the same objectives of a CWPP.
- For project implementation: The project must be described in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan that is not more than 10-years old.
Priority will be given to projects that:
- Are located in an area identified as having a high or very high wildfire hazard potential;
- Benefit a low-income community; or
- Are located in a community impacted by a severe disaster within the previous 10 years which increased wildfire risk and/or hazard.
The maximum amount of Federal funding awarded to any one community or Tribe via this competitive process is:
- $250,000 for the creation or updating of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
- $10 million for a project described within a Community Wildfire Protection Plan less than 10 years old.
- For planning purposes, the total Federal funding available through the CWDG competitive process could be up to $250 million for this second round.
Required matching funds:
- 10% non-Federal match for proposals to develop or update a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
- 25% non-federal match for proposals to implement projects described within a Community Wildfire Protection Plan.
- Match waiver request available for communities meeting the definition of underserved, nationally recognized Tribes, and Pacific Islands.
Community Wildfire Defense Grant (CWDG) Dashboard
The Wildfire Risk to Communities project team developed a nationally consistent data dashboard to help communities complete grant applications and for reviewers to score applications. Get specific information about your community.
The CWDG Dashboard supports the goals of the program described in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and can be used to help:
- Identify eligible "at-risk communities"
- Prioritize places that:
- are "low income"
- have "been impacted by a severe disaster"
- have "high or very high wildfire hazard potential"
- Identity places that qualify as "underserved" and that can request a cost-share waiver.
The CWDG Dashboard is not intended to be the only source of information to prioritize communities, but it can help fill data gaps to support applicants.
Visit the CWDG Dashboard for more information and links on the Datasets used.
- Important: Applicants must register in sam.gov to apply for a grant. Organizations must have an active registration with the System for Award Management (SAM.gov), which will generate a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Creating a SAM registration may take several weeks or more to complete. Therefore, ensure you apply for your SAM registration promptly.
CWDG Office Hours
An opportunity for applicants to ask questions about the Community Wildfire Defense Grant program. These office hours will be available every other Wednesday, starting on August 30, 2023, and the last one on October 25, 2023.
Questions can be asked about the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), the application, the portal, and/or anything along the process. Applicants may join any of the virtual office hour Zoom meetings at any time during the scheduled sessions, through the following links:
- August 30: From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern); or from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Mountain), Must Register in Advance to Attend Webinar.
- September 13: From 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Eastern); or from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Mountain), Must Register in Advance to Attend Webinar.
- September 27: From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern); or from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Mountain). Must Register in Advance to Attend Webinar.
- October 11: From 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Eastern); or from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Mountain), Must Register in Advance to Attend Webinar.
- October 25: From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern); or from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Mountain), Must Register in Advance to Attend Webinar.
Applicant Webinars for CWDG Round 2 have been scheduled as follows. The application process in Round 2 is the same for all applicants (versus Round 1 where there were different processes for different regions), and any applicant in any region, area, or Tribe may attend any webinar, they will all have the same content, however, the August 10 Webinar will be more focused on Tribal applications and Q&A.
To attend a webinar, please register in advance by clicking on the link following each date:
- August 4, webinar recording is now available, (2:03:36)
- August 9, webinar recording is now available, (2:02:45)
- August 10, webinar recording is now available, (1:38:34)
- August 15, webinar recording is now available, (2:02:29)
Webinar recordings will be made available soon after the webinars for those unable to attend one of the live offerings, check back on this website for more information.
Opportunity numbers in grants.gov
This is for projects that will be carried out by Tribes. While this Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is specifically for Tribes, they may also apply under the corresponding state NOFO as well.
- WESTERN STATES AND TERRITORIES
This is for projects that will be carried out within the footprint of the Western States and Territories (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Territory of American Samoa, Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Territory of Guam, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands).
- NORTHEAST-MIDWEST STATES
This is for projects that will be carried out within the footprint of the Northeast-Midwest States: (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin).
- SOUTHERN STATES
This is for projects that will be carried out within the footprint of the Southern States (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, and for Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
- Contacts for the CWDG Notices of Funding Opportunity, Round 2, (PDF, 160 KB)
- CWDG Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 375 KB)
- Examples of previous High and Low Score application responses (PDF, 175 KB)
Additional Federal Wildfire Grant Resources
Federal Wildfire Resources describes a variety of pre-disaster Federal grant and cost-share programs across the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), that can support community-led efforts to prepare for wildfire.