LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division is now accepting applications for Wildland Fire Suppression Kits through September 30.

According to a press release, the Forestry Division received $293,600 through a U.S. Forest Service grant to provide 89 kits this year to rural volunteer fire departments across the state. Nearly 600 kits have been distributed since 2014.

Volunteer fire departments are the Forestry Division’s primary partner in wildfire response and suppression. The kits will provide these departments with specialized equipment needed for safe suppression, including up to ten wildfire-resistant coveralls, ten pairs of wildland gloves, two backpack leaf blowers, two collapsible backpack water pumps, six leaf rakes, and two McLeod rakes.

Rural volunteer fire departments interested in applying should apply online here. Paper applications are also available upon request.

The Forestry Division says that applications are scored according to specific criteria including the population of the fire district, the number of square miles covered, the average number of wildfires a department responds to annually and other factors. The selected departments will be notified in October, and kits will be delivered in spring of 2023 or as soon as supplies are received.

Fire departments may contact Kathryn Mahan-Hooten at Kathryn.mahan@agriculture.arkansas.gov or (501) 679-3183 with questions. More information about the program can be found here.