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Section 1503.141 | Wildfire suppression payments; reimbursement for costs incurred in suppression of fires.

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There is hereby created in the state treasury the wildfire suppression fund. The fund shall consist of any federal moneys received for the purposes of this section and donations, gifts, bequests, and other moneys received for those purposes. In addition, the chief of the division of forestry annually may request that the director of budget and management transfer, and, if so requested, the director shall transfer, not more than one hundred thousand dollars to the wildfire suppression fund from the state forest fund created in section 1503.05 of the Revised Code. The amount transferred shall consist only of money deposited into the state forest fund from the sale of standing timber taken from state forest lands as set forth in that section.

The chief shall use moneys in the wildfire suppression fund to reimburse firefighting agencies and private fire companies for their costs incurred in the suppression of wildfires. The chief shall provide such reimbursement pursuant to agreements and contracts entered into under section 1503.14 of the Revised Code and in accordance with the following schedule:

(A) For wildfire suppression on private land, an initial seventy-dollar payment to the firefighting agency or private fire company;

(B) For wildfire suppression on land under the administration or care of the department of natural resources or on land that is part of any national forest administered by the United States department of agriculture forest service, an initial one-hundred-dollar payment to the firefighting agency or private fire company;

(C) For any wildfire suppression on land specified in division (A) or (B) of this section lasting more than two hours, an additional payment of thirty-five dollars per hour.

If at any time moneys in the fund exceed two hundred thousand dollars, the chief shall disburse the moneys that exceed that amount to the firefighting agencies and private fire companies in accordance with rules that the chief shall adopt in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. The rules shall establish requirements and procedures that are similar in purpose and operation to the federal rural community fire protection program established under the "Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978," 92 Stat. 365, 16 U.S.C.A. 2101, as amended.

As used in this section, "firefighting agency" and "private fire company" have the same meanings as in section 9.60 of the Revised Code.

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