The Delaware Forest Service is offering up to $4,500 in grants to help fire companies in the state improve their readiness and ability to fight wildfires.

The deadline is May 1, and the form is available at bit.ly/2kAUBRt.

Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, the volunteer fire assistance program has provided more than 120 grants worth almost $300,000 to Delaware volunteer fire companies over the past 10 years.

Grants require a 50-50 cost-share match and priority will be given to applicants that have not received funding in the past three years.

Funds can be used to pay for specialized equipment to help volunteer firefighters meet the unexpected and often unpredictable threat of wildfires in fields, forests, open spaces and marshes, which is often distinctly different from structural firefighting.

Funds may not be used to purchase vehicles or structural firefighting gear. Funding is for wildland firefighting hose, safety gear, brush unit pumps/skids and hand tools.

Applications must be received by the Delaware Forest Service, 2320 S. Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19901, no later than May 1.

For information, call 698-4548 or email kyle.hoyd@state.de.us.