Washington, DC -- Federal funds have been made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Washington State battle the uncontrolled Hanford fire located in Benton County.
According to the agency, the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved early this morning immediately after it was reported that the blaze had destroyed 25 homes and was forcing the evacuation of residents in the communities of Horn Rapids, West Richland and areas of Benton City. The fire, which burned across the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, had consumed nearly 50,000 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 $1,061,941. 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.