"Close to 700 suspicious forest fires involving almost 4,000 acres occurred in Georgia last year," said Alan Dozier, Chief of Protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC). "This funding will provide our team with badly needed equipment and training to help protect Georgians from the threat of arson fire."
The $150,745 Assistance to Firefighters grant for fire prevention and safety projects was awarded to the GFC on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. It is the first time GFC has received this grant. The grant was approved in mid-April and will be utilized during the next 12 months.
According to Brian Clavier, GFC Chief Investigator, several pieces of equipment will be purchased for surveillance purposes, including digital video cameras and binoculars. Funding is earmarked as well for a special crime reporting database, fire investigation training, redesign of GFC's law enforcement and fire prevention website, and media campaigns.
Recent woods fires in Polk County include a Potash Rd. blaze last week and two fires in March including a Cut Log Rd. fire and an Elder’s Lake blaze that burned nine acres.
For more information about fire prevention in Georgia and the services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org