St. Louis County gets grant for wildfire protection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — St. Louis County will receive a $1.1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help 126 homes and businesses install sprinkler systems to protect against wildfires.

Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., called the systems “very effective for protecting structures.”

Oberstar said that during the Ham Lake fire of 2007 more than 100 buildings that were equipped with the sprinkler systems were not seriously damaged.

“The Ham Lake Fire was a sobering reminder of the risk property owners in northeast Minnesota face from wildfire,” Oberstar said in a statement.  “The cost of taking action to prevent property damage is a fraction of the cost we all pay after homes and businesses have been destroyed.”

The FEMA grants will cover 75 percent of the cost to install the systems.

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