Grants Can Help Volunteer Companies Fight Wildfires

Felton Fire Dept.
Felton’s volunteer fire company assisted on a controlled burn in Lewes last month.


DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Forest Service’s 2021 VFA Grant program is open to all Delaware volunteer fire departments and can provide up to $4,500 in matching grants to acquire pumps, hoses, and equipment to respond to and suppress wildfires. More than $350,000 has been given to enhance wildfire response in the First State since the program’s inception. Applications must be received by the Delaware Forest Service office by regular mail no later than June 20, 2021. No email submissions will be accepted.  Awards will be made within 7 business days so that awarded projects can begin. Applicants are asked to take note of the submission instructions at the bottom of the application.

Mailing Address:

Delaware Forest Service Wildland Fire Program
VFA Grant Application
2320 S. DuPont Hwy.
Dover, DE 19901

Last year, the Delaware Forest Service awarded almost $19,000 in VFA grants to six Delaware volunteer fire companies:

  • Farmington ($1,100)
  • Hartly ($4,196)
  • Laurel ($3,740)
  • Middletown ($4,500)
  • Millsboro ($3,816)
  • Selbyville ($1,510)

Grant applications materials:

Priority will be given to fire companies that:

  • Have not received DFS Grant Funding within the past three years,
  • Had members attend the 2020-2021 (S130/S190) wildland fire classes, and
  • Companies with members who participated in the Delaware Forest Service’s 2021 annual fire camp.

No vehicles (trucks/UTV’s/ATV’s/Trailers), structural firefighting gear (turnout coats, hardhats, gloves, lights, rescue saws, etc.) can be purchased with this funding. Funding is for wildland firefighting ¾” to 1 ½” forestry hose, wildland nomex clothing, wildland hardhats, brush unit pumps/skids, and wildland fire hand tools. Chainsaws can be purchased with funding however they cannot be used/modified into rescue saws.

If you have any questions about the application process or what can be purchased, please feel free to contact Kyle Hoyd at (302) 698-4548 or by email at

“This is a great opportunity for volunteer fire companies to obtain wildland firefighting equipment at little or no cost,” said Kyle Hoyd, Delaware’s assistant state forester who oversees its wildland fire program. “Companies can acquire personal protective equipment (PPE) for wildfire response, fire hose, brush unit upgrades, or chainsaws for wooded operations—these are just a few of the items can help them respond to wildfires in the state.”