Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized fire suppression funds to help Montana fight another uncontrolled fire burning in Carbon County. The authorization is the sixth granted over the past few weeks for wildfires that have endangered populated areas in the central and western parts of the state.
According to the agency, the assistance requested by the state was approved yesterday after it was reported that the Willie fire posed a threat to residents in the communities of Rock Creek and Red Lodge. The blaze, which broke out last Sunday, had consumed over 3,500 acres of land and forced the evacuation of more than 250 homes in Rock Creek at the time of the request.
Other fires previously designated for fire suppression funding were the South Central Zone 4 Fire Complex in Gallatin and Park counties (August 16); the Northwest Zone 1 Fire Complex in Flathead, Lake, Lincoln and Sanders counties (August 14); 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.