USA — Residents of Cook County in northeastern Minnesota are getting some help from the federal government to help protect their buildings against forest fires.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has given the county $3 million to help more home, cabin and businesses owners install external sprinkler systems.
The FEMA money will pay up to half the cost of installing or upgrading the systems. The grant was announced Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, who represents the area.
The sprinkler systems are credited with saving dozens of buildings during the 2007 Ham Lake fire that destroyed nearly 150 buildings in Minnesota and Ontario. Few, if any, buildings that had working sprinklers were lost.
The sprinkler systems run best when a propane motor pumps water out of lakes or streams and onto cabins, homes and restorts.