Several area fire departments from three local counties are among 140 volunteer departments across the state to be awarded grants though the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Volunteer Fire Assistance program. The News and Advance reports, Bedford, Campbell and Nelson counties are receiving money to purchase personal protective equipment, communications gear, water tanks for brush trucks, wildland fire specialty tools and training materials. The grants across Virginia added up to nearly $200,000. Since the program began in 1975, more than $3.4 million has been awarded to volunteer fire departments through grants. The money is provided by the U.S. Forest Service.