Klobuchar, Smith Announce Federal Investment to Reduce Wildfire Risk in St. Louis County

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN), announced $890,925 in federal investments to help make St. Louis County more resilient to threats of wildfires. The funding will be distributed to local fire departments, lake and road associations, and township boards in the highest wildfire risk areas within the county. The funding is made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Klobuchar and Smith helped pass last year.

“The 2021 Greenwood fire in northeastern Minnesota destroyed family cabins, damaged thousands of acres of forests, and hurt small businesses that rely on tourism. That’s why we must ensure our communities and firefighters have the resources they need to keep Minnesotans safe from future wildfires,” said Klobuchar. “This federal funding will provide St. Louis County with vital tools to reduce wildfires and bolster forest resilience.”

“As climate change makes extreme weather events more common, we need to be doing everything we can to ensure our communities are as prepared and resilient as possible,” said Smith. “Thanks to this funding, which is made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, families in St. Louis County will be better protected against the threat of wildfires.”

The funding is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program, which helps communities plan for and mitigate wildfire risks as the nation faces an ongoing wildfire crisis. In 2021, both Klobuchar and Smith toured the Greenwood Lake Fire and saw firsthand the devastating impact wildfires can have.

These federal investments will help increase wildfire awareness, reduce wildfire fuels and provide opportunities to help St. Louis County communities be more wildfire resilient. Over the next five years, the funding will support twenty hazardous fuels mitigation projects across a combined 225 acres.