WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal funds have been made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Texas battle the uncontrolled Fischer fire located in Comal County. FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved early this evening immediately after it was reported that the fire posed a threat to some 100 homes in the town of Fischer. The fire had burned 1,200 acres of land and forced the evacuation of an estimated 200 to 300 residents at the time of the request.
Under the authorization, FEMA will pay 70 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs once the state's floor cost has been met. The floor cost is derived through a formula based on the state's five-year annual average cost for fighting fires.
Federal fire suppression aid is provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires when they threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.