Fire District Assistance Programs

The purpose of fire district assistance programs is to provide local and rural fire districts in  Washington state opportunities to establish, develop, improve, and maintain their wildland firefighting capabilities. Improving the capabilities of local districts helps defend Washington against wildfire.
These programs can make several types of training, equipment and other assistance more affordable to local fire districts.
NOTE: Programs use available funds and resources which may vary from year-to-year.

DNR Surplus Engine Program

Applications are now open for fire districts 
2021 Calendar
October 1 - Application process opens for districts to apply for surplus engines
October 31 - Application window closes and selections are made
November 15 - DNR will begin to notify districts of the results
DNR will surplus 10 fire engines as well as four fire decks to eligible Washington Fire Districts this year. RCW 76.04.135(4) authorizes DNR to transfer ownership of surplus DNR engines to Fire Districts in wildfire prone areas. These Districts need to have a median income level below the state average. Interested Districts can submit a request for an engine by completing the “Surplus Engine Request Form.” Requests must be received by DNR no later than October 31, 2021. Here is a list of eligible districts.
View the PowerPoint with photos and more information on each fire engine. Districts can view the engines in person October 1 through the 29 (Mon-Fri) at the DNR Compound located at 801 88th Avenue SE, Tumwater, WA. To schedule a viewing of engines, please contact Nick Cronquist DNR Fire District Assistance at 360-480-2700. 
DNR will consider the following when prioritizing applications for engines:
  • Wildfire Prone Area
  • Mutual aid response agreements with DNR
  • Volunteer firefighter membership           
  • District Budget
  • Average Annual Wildfire Responses
  • Districts that have not received an engine in the last 3 years are first priority. *Decks are excluded*
  • Additional criteria may also be utilized
Requests must be received no later than October 31, 2021 and DNR will begin to notify districts of the results as soon as November 15, 2021.
NOTE: All surplus fire engines are offered “AS IS.” DNR makes no warranty of condition or operability. Fire districts are encouraged to complete their own due diligence to determine vehicle condition and operability, including tanks, pumps, and other vehicle accessories during the application window.
Questions regarding the transfer process should be directed to DNR Fire District Assistance at 360-902-1300.

Volunteer Fire Assistance Funding

Administered by DNR through funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) provides grants and wildfire training opportunities to fire districts and departments in Washington state.
Opportunities for this funding may be available to fire districts and departments that:
  • Respond to wildland fire on private, state or federal lands.
  • Serve communities with a population of 10,000 or fewer residents.
  • Serve a community of more than 10,000 residents AND a service area that includes a rural community of fewer than 10,000 residents (VFA funding is only available for the rural area).
*VFA programs may not be available every year dependent upon funding. Call 360-902-1300 for details. 

VFA Grants

The VFA grant program provides a 50 percent match for purchases of personal protective equipment and general equipment. The program is administered in two phases annually:
Phase 1 (Now Closed. Opens March 2022)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other fire equipment can be acquired annually through DNR fire cache at a 50% cost savings.
  • For 2021, eligible fire districts may place orders beginning March 1, 2021 using the “Phase 1 Order” shopping cart (see link below).
  • Shopping cart prices are listed at a 50% discount. The amount ordered in the shopping cart is what the district/department will be charged (shipping costs are additional to this amount).
  • Shopping cart orders are limited to a total shopping cart price of $3,000.
  • Orders will be accepted and filled on a first come-first serve basis through April 30, 2021, or until funding is expended, whichever occurs first.
  • Districts can pre-plan their orders using the “Phase 1 2021 Product List with Prices” link below which contains the products and prices that will be available in the shopping cart when it opens.
  • See the “Phase 1 Grant Information” link below for eligibility and other information. 
Phase 2  (Opens Friday, October 15, 2021)
Phase 2 grant applications will be accepted beginning Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 through 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. This grant provides 50% funding for several project types including fire equipment, communications, training, prevention and more. See the 2022 Phase 2 Grant Requirements for eligibility and other information.  

Wildland Fire Training

  • DNR administered NWCG wildland firefighting courses 
  • Courses may be scheduled, to extent possible, in or near your community
  • DNR instructors who meet PMS 310.1: NIMS Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide

Firefighter Property Program*

 1998 M1078 - Before  1998 M1078 - After  2010 M916A3 - Before  2010 M916A3 - After
This program helps fire districts and fire departments get surplus Department of Defense vehicles suitable for low-cost conversion to support firefighting and emergency services. Other equipment, such as generators, forklifts, UTVs, and trailers are also available. Fire districts receive the title to the property. Equipment is available from Ft. Lewis and from military bases across the county. Districts and departments pay the expense of transporting the equipment from the military base (over half of the vehicles and equipment located through this program come from other states).
Opportunities to obtain equipment through this program may be available to fire protection districts and fire departments in Washington state that:
  • Agree to put the vehicle in service within a year of taking possession.
  • Maintain the vehicle in service for an additional year after placing it in service.
  • Have a current Fire District Assistance agreement in place with DNR.
*This program, with a few exceptions, replaces the Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP) in Washington state.
NOTICE: The Department of Army has changed access requirements to Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM).

Federal Excess Personal Property (FEPP)

The FEPP program allows fire districts to obtain, on loan, federal excess property from the USFS through DNR. The USFS retains ownership of the equipment. Districts must return the equipment when no longer needed. DNR maintains biennial inventories of all FEPP equipment currently on loan to fire districts.
Fire districts that want to return FEPP equipment must complete and submit a FEPP Disposal Form. Follow instructions provided on the form.

For assistance, contact DNR's Fire District Assistance Program at 360-902-1300.

Questions or comments?

Federal Civil Rights
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, DNR does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. However, should a person wish to file a discrimination complaint, please write to:
USDA, Director
Office of Civil Rights

Room 326-W, Whitten Building
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington D.C. 20250-9410
or call 202.720.5964 (voice and TDD)
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.