Wildfire Sprinklers

     After the blowdown in 1999 we were able to purchase a wildfire sprinkler system for Voyageur thanks to a partial grant from FEMA.  Those sprinklers worked when we needed them to this May and without them there is no doubt in my mind we would have lost everything.  Unfortunately some of our property and buildings were out of the reach of the spray and were consumed by flames. Many other property owners who had sprinklers and were able to get them going saved their cabins as well. 

     During and after the fire politicians were everywhere up here making promises left and right.  We were told we would get trailers from FEMA, sprinklers and Disaster Loans.  We applied for a loan and were turned down, we know of only 1 approved loan in the county.  Trailers never became available and sprinklers were not made available in spite of the incredibly dry summer. 

     It sounds like FEMA has decided to make good on their offer from last summer since we are being told to sign up again for wildfire sprinkler grants, even though many of us applied last summer.  So, for those of you who aren’t on county mailing lists here is the information that can help protect your property.


Applications for funding are now open for property owners in Cook County who wish to install wildfire sprinkler systems. The information collected will be used to prepare a 2008 FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Application.

Grant recipients will be required to follow Firewise practices and to achieve an acceptable Firewise Assessment rating prior to installation. Cook County will also require minimum sprinkler system installation standards.

Award of grants will be determined in the spring of 2008. Homeowners will be required to pay a minimum of 25% of the cost of installation. Funding is competitive and may be limited and contributions from property owners may exceed 25%.

This grant will not provide reimbursements for systems that have already been installed or are in the process of being installed; however, you may be eligible for additional system(s) or upgrades to your current system.

Apply now. Deadline for applying is December 31, 2007. Apply on-line at <http://www.co.cook.mn.us/>www.co.cook.mn.usIf you do not have Internet access call the Cook County Auditor’s Office at 218-387-3688.

Note: If you applied during the summer of 2007 please reapply now to ensure the information is complete and accurate. Please mark that box on the current application form. For other questions regarding the program call the Cook County Emergency Management Director at 218-387-3059, the Cook County Auditor-Treasurer at 218-387-3688 or the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department at 218-388-0900.