NASF Joins Coalition Letter Advocating for Increased Appropriations for State Fire Assistance and Volunteer Fire Assistance Programs

NASF joined six partner organizations in a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committees advocating for increased FY25 appropriation levels for State Fire Assistance (SFA) and Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) programs. The letter requests $85 million for the SFA program and $25 million for VFA.

“SFA is an important federal mechanism for assisting states and local fire departments in responding to wildland fires and in conducting land management activities that mitigate fire risk on non-federal lands. The program helps train state and local emergency responders who are usually first to arrive at a wildland fire incident, and the program is critical to equip them with the tools, training and resources they need to put wildland fires out efficiently and safely… The localized support provided by SFA is crucial because approximately 80 percent of wildland fires burn within state and local fire department jurisdictions. Even when it comes to wildland fires on federal lands, SFA-supported crews and apparatus are often the first to arrive for initial attack.”

“The VFA program provides support to volunteer fire departments protecting communities with populations of 10,000 or fewer residents. National needs assessment survey data shows that fire departments protecting smaller communities tend to lack adequate resources and rely more on volunteer staffing compared to departments protecting communities with larger populations…The VFA program helps bridge these resource gaps for thousands of fire departments across the country. VFA ensures adequate capacity to respond to wildland fires, reducing the risk to communities, people, homes and property, and firefighters. This capacity is critical because these state and local resources are the first responders to more than 80% of wildland fires – whether on state, federal or private lands.”

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