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Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Grant

Grants to Iowa Rural Fire Departments to
Purchase Equipment to Combat Wildfires

Agency Type:


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Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Forestry Bureau

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $3,500 to Iowa fire departments to help protect property and natural resources, and save lives in rural areas of the State. Funding is intended to enable fire departments to improve their capacity to prevent and mitigate wildfires. Eligible use of funds include wildland fire related equipment, including communications and water handling equipment, protective clothing, and hand and line tools.

Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) - Improves the capability of Iowa’s rural volunteer fire departments to protect lives, structures, and natural resources in rural and wildland/urban interface areas. VFA matching grants work to offset the costs of wildland fire equipment and personal safety gear to existing fire departments and to support the organization of new fire departments in unprotected communities. 

Priority will be given to:

  • Applicants who have submitted Iowa Wildland Fire Reports during 2019 & 2020
  • Acres of state land protected
  • Communities which have not received funds under this program in the previous funding period
  • Areas of greatest need
  • Departments who utilize Wildland PPE and who have strong wildland fire suppression requests. 

Eligible Cost-Share Items - $3,500 maximum VFA cost-share:

Wildfire Hand and Line Tools

  • 5 gal. Backpack Bladder Bags
  • Fire Rake, Collapsible Fire Rake
  • Fire Swatter, Fire Broom
  • Shovel, McLeod, Pulaski Tool
  • Chain Saws, Leaf Blowers, Mist Blowers
  • Fire Weather Kit, Kestrel Weather Meters
  • Fuses, Drip Torch
  • GPS Units

Wildland Fire Protective Clothing

  • Shirts, Pants, Coveralls, Brush Coats: Nomex
  • Neck Shrouds: Nomex
  • Goggles: fire safe
  • Gloves: fire safe
  • Hardhats: fire safe
  • Fire Packs, Radio Harness, Web Gear
  • Fire Shelters

Communications Equipment

  • Base Radios
  • Handheld/Programmable Radios
  • Mobile Radios
  • Pagers

Wildland Water Handling Equipment

  • Slide-In Units
  • Foam Units, Foam Mixers and/or Foam
  • Portable Tanks
  • Portable Pumps
  • Hoses (¾”, 1”, 1 ½”)
  • Nozzles and Fittings

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 159592

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants will not exceed a maximum of $3,500. No applications for less than $150 ($75 matching funds) will be approved.

Term of Contract:

Expenditures made between October 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022, will qualify. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2022. All requests for reimbursement must be submitted and postmarked by July 31, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Iowa Fire Departments may apply. The fire department must be registered with the State Fire Marshal's office and must file all incident reports in a timely manner.

Only communities under 10,000 population qualify.

No individual item can be $5,000 or more.

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Applications are due October 15, 2021.

All applications must submit a completed IRS Form W-9 confirming their Federal Tax ID # (this may belong to the fire department or the city) and they must provide their DUNS#.

Volunteer Fire Assistance Program will pay 50 percent of the cost, with the local agencies also paying 50 percent. Local fire department funds must be available when the application is made. Local match funds may not be from a federal funding source.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Send Completed Application Form and IRS W-9 Form to:
Gail Kantak, Fire Supervisor
DNR Forestry – Fire Program
2404 S Duff Ave
Ames IA 50010-8093

Office: 515-233-8067 or 1161
Cell: 515-689-0083

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Iowa

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