Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help South Dakota fight an outbreak of uncontrolled wildfires located in Fall River County.
According to the agency, the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved early yesterday after it was reported that the Flagpole Fire Complex, consisting of three fires, posed a threat to approximately 150 homes in the Sheps Canyon area. The fires, which broke out last Friday, had burned more than 2,500 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 $59,754. 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.