DURHAM — The Durham Fire and Rescue Department has been awarded a $4,000 matching grant to equip its wildland truck.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forestry Service will give the department $2,000, and the town will be responsible for the other half.

Small volunteer fire departments often rely on grants to purchase new or replace outdated equipment, Fire Chief Robert Tripp said.

“We’re looking at 20-year-old equipment, so it’s very difficult to fund under capital improvement, this funding, for such a small tax base as Durham has,” he said. “So it’s part of the fire chief’s job to either search for grants or delegate for that.”

The department will use the money to buy hoses, nozzles and adapters for its wildland truck.

According to a letter Tripp received, the Maine Fire Chiefs’ association forestry committee and two USDA forestry rangers were responsible for judging the 103 applications for the volunteer fire department assistance grant.

In 2021, the town issued 924 burn permits, Tripp said. The Fire and Rescue Department responded to two grass fires and four wildland fires.

The department is also applying for grants to purchase a new boat and replace their radios, Tripp added.

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