Washington, DC -- Federal funds were made available today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help Missouri battle an outbreak of uncontrolled wildfires located in the south central part of the state.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved last night immediately after it was reported that the Camden Fire Complex, consisting of more than 70 fires, had destroyed 17 homes and forced the evacuation of approximately 300 residents in communities from Macks Creek to Climax Springs. The fires, which broke out last Wednesday, were burning on more than 3,000 acres of grassland at the time of the request.
Under the authorization, FEMA will pay 70 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs that are above $55,895. 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.