On July 23, 2012, funds were made available to the Arkansas Forestry Commission to grant to rural fire departments for the purchase of fire-fighting equipment.

"This money is authorized under the Volunteer Fire Assistance Act, and the National Fire Plan," says John Blackburn, Rural Fire Protection Administrator.
Forestry Commission official administer the program to Rural Fire Departments, (10,000 in population or less, and 75 percent volunteer) to purchase fire-fighting equipment. The purpose of this program is to improve training and equip local forces to prevent, control and suppress fires in rural areas.
Applicants seeking a VFA grant from the Forestry Commission must provide a one-to-one match ($2,000 equipment purchase to qualify for $1,000 grant.)
Forestry Commission officials solicit cost-share grant proposals from fire departments that serve communities of 10,000 people or fewer, review the grant proposals and consider statewide needs when determining awards. The U.S. Forest Service provides the funding and oversight for the program.
Applications from qualifying communities were taken by Forestry Commission offices from July 23, 2012, until August 17, 2012. The grant money will be used for the purchase of fire fighting equipment, excluding vehicles and buildings.