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Volunteer Fire Assistance


Congress has determined that the protection of rural areas and rural communities from fire is of national interest therefore, there is a Federal role.

The purpose of the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) Program, formerly known as the Rural Community Fire Protection (RCFP) Program, is to provide Federal financial, technical, and other assistance to State Foresters and other appropriate officials to organize, train and equip fire departments in rural areas and rural communities to prevent and suppress fires. A rural community is defined as having 10,000 or less population. This 10,000 population limit for participation in the VFA Program facilitates distribution of available VFA funding to the most needy fire departments.



Photo of Missouri wildland/urban interface.  Click for larger view.In spite of the abundance of nearby water, Missouri homes on the Lake of the Ozarks could be threatened if wildland fire strikes. Local, volunteer fire departments are the first line of defense for these houses nestled among the trees.