EUGENE, Ore. — A long line greeted the staff at Lane County Land Management Monday, as the office began accepting applications for the Firewise Incentive Program.
At 9 a.m. the land management office started taking applications for grants that would fund home upgrades to make them fire safe.
The fire season’s off to an early start, with at least six large wildfires erupting this weekend in western Oregon.
The numerous fires were a concern for one resident
“We are at risk. My home is at risk,” said resident Andrea Taylor.
Taylor lives in rural Lane County. It’s the second year she applied for the Firewise Federal Grant.
Qualifying Lane County residents who live in urban-interface areas can apply for thousands of dollars to replace roofs, siding, windows and doors with fire resistant materials; they can also make other Firewise improvements to their landscaping.
So far this fiscal year 34 people have requested reimbursement, totaling $109,000.
“Typical recipients usually get three to four thousand dollars. It depends on what type of work they do around the house,” Matt Laird, Lane County Land Management Division Manager said.
Andrea and her husband upgraded their vegetation last year and received $400 in grant funding. This year, she’s hoping to upgrade their siding.
“They pay up to 80 percent, up to $4000, so that will actually help us pay for a contractor to put the siding up,” Taylor said.
Turning in the application is step one. Within the first hour, more than 90 applications were submitted in person, online and by fax. Step two, an inspector will visit the homeowner’s property to determine what will be covered. Step three, a follow up inspection will take place to verify all work is complete and done properly.
Property owners must pay the contractors and provide proof of payment before the Firewise program will issue a check.
The Lane County Land Management is still accepting applications. Click here to fill out an application and to submit it.