Resources for landowners battling fire and drought

As fire season continues and drought lingers across the West, we are hopeful in the promise of cool fall days, much needed moisture and winter preparations. Many of our members, friends and neighbors have been impacted by this year’s extreme climatic events. We hope the resources provided here will assist you as you plan for the days and months ahead.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Disaster Relief

The USDA provides several programs to assist with disaster relief and recovery. They have developed a web-based disaster assistance discovery tool to help producers initially determine which programs may fit their circumstances. If you are interested in exploring a program or applying for a program, we recommend you contact your local USDA Service Center, as well.

Provides funding and assistance to restore fences, restore conservation structures, provide emergency water during drought and rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters

Helps non-industrial private forest landowners restore forest health damaged by natural disasters

For livestock, honey bees or farm-raised fish losses due to certain weather conditions, including wildfires, and not covered by other disaster relief programs

Offers technical and financial assistance to relieve imminent threats to life and property caused by natural disasters that impair a watershed

Provides assistance for immediate and long-term needs to help recover from natural disasters, including drought and wildfire, and to help conserve water

Provides compensation to livestock producers who have experienced pasture or forage loss due to drought or who have federally managed grazing leases they are unable to graze because of wildfire

Provides reimbursement for livestock losses up to 75 percent of the market value of animals lost to adverse weather conditions

Provides assistance to producers of non-insurable crops

Other Federal Assistance

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers assistance to those who have been affected by natural disasters during and immediately after a disaster occurs.
  • The US Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans to small businesses affected by natural disasters. Funds may be used to repair or replace items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster.

State Resources

State agencies may have resources or be able to help identify resources for those facing wildfire and drought. Contact state agencies in your state to learn about specific programs.

Local Resources

Many communities have resources tailored to local needs, from feeding displaced livestock to where to find masks for agricultural workers. The list below is only a start to identifying available wildfire recovery assistance or to explore opportunities to provide resources for others.

  • University Extension Offices
  • Local and State Farm Bureau Chapters
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Local farm and ranch supply stores or local feed stores

If you would like more information and additional resources for landowners and managers planning for and managing drought and wildfire, feel free to contact the author, Jessica Crowder, at

Jessica Crowder is a policy associate with Western Landowners Alliance. Before joining WLA she served as policy advisor for Wyoming Governor Matt Mead for over four years. Her work for the governor focused on natural resource management with an emphasis on federal land management. She holds a masters degree in range science.