Fire Department Log: By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday August 31, 2004

The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave Berkeley a $413,000 grant last week—to be supplemented by $177,000 in matching city funds—for a four-pronged program to reduce fire danger in the hills. 

Deputy Fire Chief David Orth said a fourth of the combined city and FEMA Fire Prevention and Public Safety Grant funds will go toward creating and launching a fire hazard education curriculum. 

Another 35 percent will go for an updated fire hazard evaluation program to assess fire dangers in the hills, prioritize areas of concern and collect data for academic studies of the hills. 

The grant earmarks another 30 percent for designing and implementing an effective program for reducing natural fuels along pathways in the hills so they can serve as effective evacuation routes in the event of major fires. 

The final 10 percent will be used for evaluating the programs in cooperation with UC Berkeley.