Washington, D.C. -- Federal funds have been made available today by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Montana battle the uncontrolled Buck Snort fire located in Lewis and Clark County.
According to the agency, the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved last night immediately after it was reported that the blaze had destroyed eight homes and was forcing the evacuation of up to 250 residents in the vicinity of Canyon Ferry Lake, 15 miles east of Helena. The fire, which broke out on Sunday, had burned 1,800 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 $388,150. 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.