Local community receives wildfire defense grant

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 9:10 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - This week, the Somersett Owners Association (SOA) was announced as one of the grant recipients of a wildfire defense grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

SOA is set to receive $2.34 million with a matching contribution from the SOA and its sub-association Sierra Canyon of $900,000, for a total investment of $3 million over five years, to reduce the effects of unmitigated wildfires.

The homeowners association’s application for this grant is the latest wildfire mitigation effort from the SOA. In 2022, the SOA established a Joint Fire Fuels Mitigation Task Force comprised of representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, the City of Reno Fire Department, the Somersett Owners Association and its sub-associations.

“While we are taking an enormous amount of pride in being responsible for the grant, this really was done with the interest of what’s below us, the communities above us, and to the east and the west,” said Jacob Williams, president of SOA.

The SOA is set to collaborate with local firefighting agencies to ensure their best fire fuel mitigation efforts. They are one of 100 recipients of this grant, the only recipient in the Silver State.

“Its really cool to see the community taking steps to help, and wanting to keep themselves safe as well,” said Katie Walker, Fire Inspector with Reno Fire Department.

The SOA is already in communication with RFD’s Fire Marshal, to discuss the best safety and awareness efforts to put in place with the new funding. Creating what is referred to as ‘defensible space’ around homes and the at-risk community.

“Its very hilly here [Somersett], that means its going to be harder for our crews to get into places; there’s places we can’t get to with our engines, so we’re going to be on foot, and there’s going to be a lot more ingress and egress coming out which can tie us up a little bit more,” said Walker.

To learn more about how you can take steps to mitigate fire danger, you can click here.