WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Federal funds have been made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Texas battle the uncontrolled Reese Creek fire located in Bell County.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved over the past weekend immediately after it was reported that the blaze posed a threat to 25 homes in the Mountain View subdivision of Bell County. The fire, which started last Saturday, had burned about 1,000 acres of land at the time of the request.
Under the authorization, FEMA will pay 70 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs that are above $355,097. The figure, called a 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.