WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal funds have been made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Michigan battle the uncontrolled Tower Lake Complex fire located in Marquette County.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved this afternoon immediately after it was reported that the blaze was endangering residents in the towns of Champion, Republic and other unincorporated areas. The fire had burned 9,000 acres of land and forced the evacuation of an estimated 700 to 800 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.