The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and State Farm\u00ae announced the launch of the project funding awards application period for its third national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 7, which helps communities prepare for and reduce their risk of wildfire damage.\r\nState Farm is providing funding to NFPA for the Preparedness Day event and a portion will be awarded to 125 neighborhood wildfire risk reduction projects being implemented on Saturday, May 7.\r\nPreparedness Day gives people of all ages a chance to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes their community a safer place to live. Project applications can be submitted through February 28. Get more information on how to apply for an award.\r\nEvery year, wildfires burn across the U.S. and more and more people are living where wildfires are a real risk. Nearly 45 million homes abut or intermingle with grasslands, forests and wildlands, and more than 72,000 U.S. communities are threatened by wildfire. Preparedness Day continues to help inform, increase mitigation, reduce risk and raise awareness about wildfire safety among residents who live in high-risk wildfire areas.\r\nDuring Preparedness Day 2015, more than 140 projects were undertaken in 27 states, and 65 recipients received funding from State Farm for activities that helped make residents and firefighters safer when wildfires happen.\r\nWildfire hazard is a growing threat to communities throughout the United States. The combination of drought, mild temperatures and an excess of dried vegetation in forests and grasslands has made fire seasons progressively worse over the past 50 years. According to reports, the 2015 wildfire season was one of the worst on record, burning more than 10 million acres, an area roughly the size of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. A report in Nature Communications states that over the past 35 years, fire seasons have gotten longer, and the area burned by wildfires has doubled.\r\nFor more information about national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, funding awards, project ideas and free resources to download, please visit www.wildfireprepday.org.