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MEMA Home > Programs> Communication> News > Innovative Hazard Mitigation Effort in Grindstone Comes to Completion

Innovative Hazard Mitigation Effort in Grindstone Comes to Completion

15 minutes into the controlled burn, the fire takes hold. MEMA photo by Beth Barton.


August 15, 2009


A controlled burn of a house in Grindstone has marked the successful completion of Penobscot County EMA’s first property acquisition and demolition project under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Program. The property, on Route 11 in Grindstone, (which is an Unorganized Territory) has been flooded repeatedly over the last six years. After the 2008 May Day Flood Event, grant monies to acquire repetitive loss properties such as this became available under FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

Photos of the controlled burn are posted on MEMA's page on Facebook.

Penobscot County applied for and received a Hazard Mitigation Grant to buy the property and demolish the house. However, the grant program requires a 25% local match. In this case, the match was provided by the efforts of the Fire Academy and local fire departments to conduct a controlled burn as a training exercise. On Saturday, July 18th the demolition of the structure was accomplished by controlled burn.

Frank Hammond, Training Program Manager of Maine Fire Training, and his team rounded up crew and equipment to help make this a successful training for everyone. Once all training was completed, crews from Medway and Lincoln Fire Depts. proceeded to do the controlled burn, overseen by Chief John Lee. In addition to the Medway and Lincoln departments, fire fighters from as far away as Perry and Detroit participated. Overall there were about 20 Fire fighters on hand. The training event and controlled burn went off with no problems.

On the scene that day were Tom Robertson and Michelle Tanguay of Penobscot County EMA, and JoAnn Mooney and Beth Barton of MEMA.

The structure was burned to the ground and later that week. The cellar of the building was filled with gravel, leveled and seeded. The property will remain “green space” and will not be allowed to have any kind of permanent structure built on it as it is in a known flood plain.

Penobscot EMA extended special thanks to JoAnn Mooney, Maine Emergency Management, for helping Penobscot County through this project. They also thanked Chief John Lee and all departments who participated in this project.

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is available after federal declared disasters and is competitive statewide. Applications and other documents for the HMGP program are available on line.



JoAnn Mooney or Bath Barton


Last update: 07/20/10