The Virginia Department of Forestry has awarded more than $200,000 in grants to 154 volunteer fire departments.
The department said Wednesday that the grants range from $500 to $2,600 and will be used for such purchases as protective equipment, communications gear, water tanks for brush trucks, tools and training materials. Funding is provided by the U.S. Forest Service.
A total of 163 fire departments applied for grants. The requests totaled more than $813,000 - roughly four times the amount available through the Volunteer Fire Assistance program. Since the program began in 1975, the department has awarded more than $3.2 million to volunteer fire departments across the state.