COLUMBUS, OH - Residents of Waterloo Township in Athens County will now have increased options for protecting their homes from wildfire thanks to new equipment purchased with a $1,150 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry.
The grant, provided by the Division of Forestry's Firewise Program, enabled the Waterloo Volunteer Fire Department to purchase two backpack leaf blowers and a brush cutter to aid in fire suppression.
The fire department will match the grant with in-kind services. "Each year there are more than 1,000 wildfires in Ohio," said Aaron Kloss, coordinator of the Division of Forestry's Firewise Ohio Program. "This equipment will aid local firefighters in removing the kind of flammable vegetation that poses the most risk to residences."
The ODNR Division of Forestry's Firewise Ohio Program is part of a multi-organizational initiative designed to include fire safety professionals, homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, and others in localized efforts to lessen the risk of wildfires.
The goal of this program is to reduce the susceptibility of homes, communities, and structures to wildfire through cooperative education and mitigation techniques.