Washington, DC -- FEMA reported today that federal firefighting funds have been authorized for the second time to help Colorado battle another uncontrolled wildfire that is burning in the counties of Jefferson and Park.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said the fire suppression aid requested by the state was approved last night after the agency was informed that the 2,000-acre Hi Meadow fire had destroyed a number homes and forced the evacuation of more than 300 people from houses near Bailey, about 35 miles southwest of Denver. Fire suppression assistance was authorized earlier yesterday for the Bobcat Gulch fire that was endangering homes in Cedar Park located one mile north of Drake in Larimer County.
The authorizations make federal funds available to pay 70 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs that are above $91,286. The figure, called a floor cost, is derived through a formula based on the state's five-year annual average 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.