Washington, DC -- Three 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 past weekend immediately after it was learned that populated areas were being threatened by the Orlando District Fire Complex located in the counties of Brevard, Orange and Osceola; the Bunnell Fire Complex located in the counties of Flagler, St. Johns and Volusia; and the Waccasassa Fire Complex located in the counties of Alachua, Gilchrist, Levy, Marion and Putnam.
The designations bring to seven the number of Florida fires that have been authorized for FEMA fire suppression aid this year. Under the authorizations, the state's eligible firefighting costs will be funded at 70 percent federal share once a floor cost of $1,520,356 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 Lakeland District Fire Complex in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties (May 20); the Withlacootchee Fire Complex in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Pasco and Sumter counties (May 19); the Flowers Myakka Fire Complex in Sarasota County (May 16); and the Merritt Fire in Collier County (April 11).
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.