The U.S. Forest Service has extended the State Forestry Grant to Riverside County, Gregg Bratcher, Cal Fire unit forester for Riverside County, announced last week.

The grant was scheduled to expire Sept. 30, but Cal Fire requested a one-year extension.

About $450,000 will be available for fire protection on the Hill during the next year.

The grant funds can be used for four different purposes, according to Bratcher. The first is a cooperative agreement with the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council to help with fire abatement projects.

Property owners concerned about dead, dying or diseased trees, such as pines dying from bark beetle infestation or the drought and oaks targeted by the goldspotted oak borer, should contact Riverside County Fire’s local forestry unit at 951-659-3337.

If property owners suspect that an oak tree may be infected, they should first visit the University of California, Riverside’s GSOB site,, then call Cal Fire’s GSOB hotline at 951-659-8328.

The third program is for fuel modification on large parcels. In addition, Bratcher indicated that time-and-materials-type contracts are available for fuel reduction projects that cost less than $25,000.