Rural and volunteer fire departments from 46 counties have been awarded more than $297,000 in Volunteer Fire Assistance grants. DNR Forestry staff reviewed grant applications and selected recipients on the basis of population density, acres of public wildlands protected, and wildland fire reporting to DNR Fire Control Headquarters. Grants may be used for training, installation of dry hydrants, or to purchase necessary firefighting equipment and gear to combat wildland fires. As in past years, the Wildland Fire category was highlighted.  The awarded grants range from $1,500 to $5,000 and were given to 71 departments. Fire departments interested in applying for VFA grants should contact Mark Huter, Assistant State Fire Coordinator, Fire Control Headquarters, 6220 Forest Road, Martinsville, IN 46151, or call 765-792-4654. Locally, LaCrosse VFD for safety and Noble Township VFD received $5,000.00 for safety. Kouts VFD received $5,000.00 for water handling. Morgan Township VFD received $5,000.00 for safety. Finally, Porter Fire Dept. received $4,999.00 for safety.