Wildfires can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture. They can also increase secondary hazards and leave areas prone to floods, erosion, and mudflows for many years.
FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) has Post Fire assistance available to help communities implement hazard mitigation measures after wildfire disasters.
Applying for Post Fire Assistance
States, federally-recognized tribes and territories affected by fires resulting in an Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) declaration on or after October 5, 2018, are eligible to apply.
The application period opens with the state or territory's first FMAG declaration of the fiscal year and closes six months after the end of that fiscal year. Application extensions may be requested.
Tools for Applicants
HMGP Post Fire utilizes the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Guidance published in February 2015.
Projects are required to be cost-effective, meaning future benefits must equal or exceed project costs. Typically, cost-effectiveness is analyzed using the Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) software toolkit. However, in an effort to streamline the HMA grant application process, FEMA has determined that certain project types (including post-wildfire mitigation) that meet specific criteria are cost-effective. Projects that qualify for these pre-calculated benefits do not require a separate BCA.
Pre-calculated benefits of $5,250 per acre are available for the following post-wildfire mitigation project types:
- Soil stabilization
- Flood diversion
- Reforestation projects
To use the pre-calculated benefits, the applicant would multiply the number of acres being mitigated by the total benefits per acre. For example, if a soil stabilization project will provide ground cover, soil stabilization, and replanting for 1,000 acres; the pre-calculated benefits would be calculated by multiplying 1,000 (the number of acres included in the project) x $5,250 (pre-calculated benefit per acre) resulting in $5,250,000 in project benefits. If the total project cost is less than or equal to the calculated project benefits, then the project is determined to be cost-effective and no separate BCA is required.
If the pre-calculated benefits are not greater than the project costs, the BCA Toolkit can be used to perform a traditional BCA.
About HMGP Post Fire Assistance
The Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA), Public Law 115-254, was enacted on October 5, 2018, and made numerous legislative changes to the Robert T. Stafford Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act). Section 1204 of the DRRA amended Section 404 of the Stafford Act to allow FEMA to provide HMGP assistance for hazard mitigation measures that substantially reduce the risk of future damage, hardship, loss, or suffering in any area affected by a major disaster, or any area affected by a fire for which assistance was provided under Section 420 Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG). The HMGP Post Fire framework is outlined in FEMA HMGP Post Fire Policy #207-088-2.