The preliminary count on submitted FIRE Act grant applications is about 19,950. Final count will show between 400 and 500 more applications then last year.
The applications are requesting approximately $2.5 billion in funding for department projects. USFA is authorized to award nearly $750 million in grants by the end of 2003.
Application submission was cut off last Friday at 5 p.m. USFA Public Information Coordinator Tom Olshanski said peer review will begin April 22 for the funding requests that fit into the competitive range of the guidelines set forth by Congress.
Olshanski said they were analyzing the applications to come up with additional details such as the numbers by category, etc. That information should be available next week.