Grants for Homeowners and Communities

Cook County Firewise can assist in helping sponsor brush pick-up days throughout the community focusing on conifer fuels reduction and brush removal.

Primary focus should be placed within the 30 foot home ignition zone around structures. This will help reduce hazardous fuels and create defensible space around structures in the event of a wildfire. A few examples include: removing balsam fir trees and brush located in this zone, as well as any tree branches located within 10 feet of roofs or within six feet of the ground.

Don’t forget, vegetation adjacent to driveways should be removed to allow a 12-foot wide and 14-foot high clearance for emergency vehicles to access structures. In an emergency, if an ambulance or fire truck can’t get into your property it makes response difficult or impossible – seconds matter and access is critical.

If the 30 foot home ignition zone is in good shape, coniferous trees and brush are encouraged to be reduced/thinned within 200 feet of structures. Size limitations on the brush material are 6 inches in diameter and 10 feet in length.

Fuels Reduction for the Elderly and Disabled 

If you have an interest in fuels reduction on your property such the examples above, you may qualify for cost sharing with Firewise. Please contact the Firewise Coordinator at for more information. 

Fuels Reduction for Communities

If your community has an interest in fuels reduction on multiple properties, your community may qualify for reimbursement with Firewise. Please contact the Firewise Coordinator at for more information.

In-kind Hours 

For any type of fuels reduction, please keep track of how many hours you work and submit those hours via email to These in-kind hours make it possible for Cook County Firewise to obtain grant funding for projects. In-kind match volunteer hours tracking form: