Rural fire departments will be benefiting from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) volunteer fire assistance grants. The program aims to save lives and protect property in rural areas.

The DNR rural fire department program provides financial and technical assistance to Minnesota fire departments in cities or communities with populations under 10,000.

Grant recipients use the funds for fire protection within existing state and county rural fire protection plans. Communities provide a 50 percent match to their grant.

Priority is given to fire departments that have the greatest need. Other considerations include the type of project, number of fire runs and number of previous years funded by the DNR.

“The Minnesota DNR volunteer fire assistance grant program helps to protect our rural communities,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner. “The grants help fund critical programs for Minnesota’s volunteer fire departments, such as emergency communications, protective gear, or even fire hoses. We’re proud to partner with those departments.”

In 2018, 159 local fire departments across the state will receive $435,700 in matching grants. Since 2012, rural fire departments in Minnesota have received just over $2 million in grant money. 

Area grant awards listed by county include:


• Springfield – $2,000


• Belview – $2,500

• Milroy – $700

• Redwood Falls – $5,000

• Sanborn – $2,600

• Wabasso – $2,500

• Walnut Grove – $500


• Buffalo Lake – $5,000

• Olivia – $5,000

Yellow Medicine

• Wood Lake – $5,000

More information on the DNR Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant program can be found at