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Success Stories


In 2021, Oregon enacted sweeping legislation to give Oregonians the resources and tools to rise to the challenge of increased wildfire threat. With added resources, the Oregon State Fire Marshal is taking a two-pronged approach to investing in how the Oregon fire service responds to fires and how communities can better prepare for wildfire.

Grant Opportunities  

The OSFM created two initiatives: Response Ready Oregon and Fire Adapted Oregon. Our strategic investments have proved successful as we strive to improve the lives of all Oregonians facing wildfire impacts.

The investments made through the OSFM are having real-world, positive impacts in communities across Oregon. Below are stories from the different grant programs the OSFM offers. Read and see how increased staff at fire agencies across the state have saved lives and protected people from wildfire.

Also read how funding is helping schools and hospitals with defensible space projects and the importance that work has in being prepared for wildfire.

To see a list of all grant opportunities, visit our Grant Opportunities page.

2022 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant - $6 Million

In June 2022, the OSFM launched the $6 million Wildfire Season Staffing Grant. Local fire agencies could apply for up to $35,000 in one-time funding to hire extra firefighters and increase staff hours during the 2022 wildfire season.

The goal was to keep fires small and prevent them from impacting communities. During the application period, 180 agencies from across Oregon received a grant.

This investment proved successful during the wildfire season. Many agencies across the state shared stories of how these funds positively impacted their community and the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System.

To show the grant's success, the OSFM created an ArcGIS StoryMap. These stories are a fraction of those shared by the Oregon fire service.

Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Assistance Grant - $4.9 Million

In January 2021, the Oregon Legislature Emergency Board granted $4.9 million to the OSFM to distribute to the Oregon fire service as grant funding. The WUI Assistance grant's objective was to improve the capacity and capability of fire protection districts and departments across Oregon.

  • 63 fire service partners received grants
  • $2.6 million was awarded to 31 departments directly impacted by the 2020 wildfires
  • 61 under-resourced departments, without funding to purchase equipment for their firefighters, received $1.4 million
  • Seven departments received $812,000 in additional funding

These jurisdictions protect Oregon communities and play a pivotal role in preventing and suppressing wildland fires in the WUI. This grant was administered as a pass-through award.

Fire agencies impacted by the 2020 fire season and underrepresented and underserved communities were prioritized, but all Oregon fire jurisdictions were eligible to receive funding.

"The skid pump was purchased with a WUI grant we were awarded from the OSFM. The pump was used to attack a trailer fire within two weeks of us getting it installed. The fire ran up into the trees and we were able to get a quick knockdown on it. Thank you again for providing us with this upgraded response capability." -Chief Aton, Sumner Fire EMS

WUI Assistance grant recipients across Oregon

Defensible Space Incentive (DSI) Grants - $271,000

To help prepare Oregonians for wildfire, the OSFM launched a Defensible Space Incentive (DSI) Grant in early 2022. The funding was allocated to schools and hospitals to create defensible space for added protection in the event of a wildfire.

The DSI Grant, a one-time $1,000 grant available to any Oregon public or private school, university, or hospital, encouraged applicants to improve their vegetative landscaping and maintain defensible space. The OSFM allocated $271,000 in DSI grants.


Click the map above for a larger view of the DSI Grant recipients.

St. Rose School defensible space improvements

The OSFM funded 260 school sites across 123 school organizations (school district, college, or private school) and 10 hospitals. Our office heard from several recipients about how the grant helped.

“We are very appreciative as a school community for the funding to keep our school environment as safe as possible. We are also thankful for the educational component of your program. It was a helpful process to look at our campus through the lens of defensible space enhancement.” -St. Rose School