Posted January 16, 2018 08:19:31Oklahoma’s Forestry Service has awarded a $25.6 million grant to a university forestry degree program for wildfire prevention.
The award will help offset costs associated with the wildfire season and provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to become better prepared for wildfire conditions.
The Oklahoma Forestry Commission awarded the grant to the University of Oklahoma at Oklahoma City.
The forest service will also award a $10,000 scholarship to students who take a wildfire safety course during the wildfire year.
The program is part of the state’s new forest safety training.
Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Ewing, R-Omaha, said in a statement that this is the third such grant the state has awarded in the past two years.
The previous two grants were for wildfire and fire prevention.
Ewing said the forest service has made this award because they know the forest safety students are needed.
“When I see students on their own in a classroom they are often the only ones who don’t have the fire safety knowledge and know how to be safe,” Ewing told NewsChannel 17.
Ewing added that the Forest Service is not just looking for fire safety students.
“They are also looking for anyone who has any knowledge or skills related to wildfire, fire prevention or wildfire suppression,” Ewings statement said.
“The Forest Service has a mission to make the state of Oklahoma a better place to live and work.”
Students will also receive free tuition and room and board at the school, as well as $5,000 scholarships for the wildfire prevention program.
The Forest Services also will provide an online training program and a 24-hour hotline for anyone in the Oklahoman area to reach out if they need any additional assistance.
In addition to the fire prevention and wildfire safety grants, the Forest Services is providing another $15,000 to a University of Texas at Austin forestry degree, and $12,500 to a college or university program in the Kansas City area for students interested in studying wildfire prevention and firefighting.