WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Two more uncontrolled Florida wildfires have been added to the list of recent state blazes designated for federal fire suppression assistance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the aid requested by the state was approved over the weekend immediately after it was learned that populated areas were being threatened by the Chipola District fire located in the counties of Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Walton and Washington, and the Everglades District fire located in the counties of Broward, Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach.
The designations bring to six the number of Florida fires that have been authorized for FEMA fire suppression aid since last Thursday. Under the authorizations, the state's eligible costs for fighting the designated fires are being funded at 70 percent federal share 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.
Other Florida fires previously approved for the assistance were the Caloosahatchee District fire in Collier, Hendry and Lee counties; the Okeechobee District fire in Glade, Highlands, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties; the Orlando District fire in Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties; and the Wacasassa District fire in Alachua, Gilchrist, Levy, Marion and Putnam counties.
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.