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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
Questions? Email us


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Volunteer Fire Assistance Program (VFA)

VFA, Title IV, is a federal matching funds program through the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. The program is administered by The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), Forestry Division. Title II/IV authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to provide funds and technical assistance to the DNRC to organize, train and equip local firefighters to prevent and suppress wildfires.

Eligibility Criteria

    1. There is no pre-set award amount. Financial assistance on any project, during any fiscal year, requires a non-federal match for project expenditures. This includs expenditures from local and private non-profit organizations participating in the agreement.

    2. Assistance is available to communities under 10,000 in population. Smaller communities may join together in a group and or county effort to submit an application, even if their combined population is over 10,000.

    3. Costs incurred prior to project approval, are normally not eligible for funding.

    4. VFA funds for approved projects will normally be disbursed at the completion of the project.

    5. Normal operational expenses, maintenance expenses and construction or improvements to fire stations for housing fire equipment are not elegible to receive VFA funds.

    6. Federal funds may not be used to match the VFA funds.

    7. Examples of approved projects include:

      • Fire protection organization and planning
        • Formation of a rural or volunteer fire district
        • Fire plans
      • Fire training
        • Structural fire protection
        • Wildland fire protection
      • Fire equipment
        • Communications systems
        • Conversion of excess military property
        • New equipment purchases
      • Wildland personal protective equipment (PPE)

How to Apply for VFA Funds:

  1. Review the eligility criteria above to make sure you qualify.
  2. Complete the project grant application and return one copy to the DNRC.
  3. Or, to apply electronically, click on the link to: Montana WebGrants

Montana DNRC
Forestry Division / Fire and Aviation Management Bureau
Attn: VFA Grant Program Coordinator
2705 Spurgin Road
Missoula, Montana 59804-3199

Application Period Closes May 18, 2018

2018 VFA Forms

Project Grant Application - Word Doc
Project Grant Application -  PDF
Purchasing Guidelines
Appendix B Federal Government Property Management Standards - Word Doc
Appendix B Federal Government Property Management Standards - PDF