Washington, DC -- Federal funds were made available today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help battle the uncontrolled Puuaakapu Ranch Lot fire located on the island of Hawaii.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved this morning immediately after it was reported that the fire had destroyed seven homes and posed a threat to 50 other houses and a local airport. The fire, which broke out on Monday, March 20, had burned about 1,700 acres of land at the time of the state's request.
Under the authorization, FEMA will pay 70 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs that are above $23,934. 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.