Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported today that federal firefighting funds have been authorized for the fourth time to help Montana battle another outbreak of multiple wildfires burning in the northwestern part of the state.
According to the agency, the fire suppression aid requested by the state was approved last night after learning that the Northwest Zone 1 Fire Complex posed a threat to populated areas in the counties of Flathead, Lake, Lincoln and Sanders. An estimated 200 to 300 fires have been burning in the area since late last week.
Montana fires previously authorized for federal fire suppression funds were the Central Zone 3C Fire Complex in Beaverhead and Madison counties (August 8); the Southwestern Zone 2 Fire Complex in Deer Lodge, Granite, Mineral, Missoula, Powell, Ravalli and Silver Bow counties (August 6); and the Central Zone 3B Fire Complex in Broadwater, Jefferson, and Lewis and Clark counties (July 24).
Under the authorizations, the state's eligible costs for fighting the fires are being funded at 100 percent federal share.
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.