(Entrada de blog en español / Spanish blog post)
Yesterday, our Region VI Administrator, Tony Russell blogged about the support we are providing the state of Texas, as they work to combat devastating wildfires. At the time of yesterday’s blog post, we had authorized Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs) for seven fires, meaning FEMA funding will be available to pay 75 percent of state and local government eligible firefighting costs.
Since then, we have authorized an additional FMAG for the Bear Creek Fire, bringing the total to 8 for this series of fires and 53 for this year.
With FMAGs in the news again, we thought we’d point you to a post we did at the end of April that explains FEMA’s role when it comes to financial assistance to support any state’s firefighting efforts.
As we wrote then...
What is an FMAG, and how does it support the efforts of first responders and firefighters?
Basically, FMAG’s provide financial assistance so firefighters and first responders can focus all their efforts on reducing the negative impacts of the fire. An FMAG authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs, under an approved grant structure.
Items eligible for FMAGs can include expenses for:
- field camps;
- equipment use, repair and replacement;
- mobilization and demobilization activities; and
- tools, materials and supplies.
In case you’re interested in the specifics, the program allows for the “mitigation, management, and control” of fires burning on publicly or privately owned forest or grasslands which threaten such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. FMAGs are provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster.
A note on FMAGs: These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire. A Governor must make a request for a major disaster declaration, including individual assistance, to receive federal disaster assistance for individual home or business owners.
Also, in addition to the support that Tony mentioned yesterday, at the request of the Governor – FEMA, state and local officials began damage assessments in Bastrop County, Texas. These assessments are designed to give the Governor a better picture of disaster damages, and to determine if a request for further federal support is needed. We will continue to work closely with the state and local emergency management officials as their efforts to contain these fires continue.
Visit Ready.gov/wildfires for tips that you can follow to prepare your home and your family.
And follow these state resources online for updated information: