logoNational Society for the
Preservation of Covered Bridges


Arson Reduction Incentive

Updated on August 11, 2017

Originally published in the Spring 2014 Newsletter, page 9
The modified text below was presented at the October 2016 Annual Meeting
and amended at the January 2017 Executive Board Meeting.

Our covered bridges are lost in a variety of ways, sometimes by natural forces, sometimes by our own choices of demolition, neglect or arson. Over the years, the Society has been very outspoken about the importance of preserving the historic components of bridges during repair and restoration projects. In addition to that, we are also gathering, evaluating and dispersing information regarding methods of protecting our remaining historic bridges from fire, vandalism and oversize vehicles.

Over the past five decades, at least 148 covered bridges have been lost to arson in the United States and Canada, an average of about three per year. In an effort to reduce this average, the Society has decided to offer an incentive to encourage bridge owner's to apply fire retardants to their historic covered bridges. Specifically, to offer a partial reimbursement for application of a fire retardant acceptable to the Society to an historic covered bridge during the 2017 calendar year. The actual amount reimbursed will be determined on a case by case basis at a regular or Board meeting. A typical reimbursement would be $500 or cost of materials, whichever is lesser.

To help us plan for upcoming requests, please fill out the Notice of Intent to Apply form and send it to the address below prior to beginning the work.

The award will be offered after the bridge owner has provided sufficient documentation that the fire retardant was applied and costs involved. A maximum of 20 awards will be available for the 2017 calendar year. Requests for this award should be directed to Bill Caswell, 535 Second NH Tpke, Hillsboro, NH 03244 or sent by email to nspcb@yahoo.com.

For more information on protecting our covered bridges from fire, see the article on pages 8-11 of the Summer 2015 Newsletter.