WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today authorized the use of federal funds to help Washington State battle the uncontrolled Mule Dry fire burning in the counties of Klickitat and Yakima.
According to the agency, the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved this morning after it was reported that the blaze posed a threat to residents in the towns of Bickleton, Cleveland and Gleed. The fire had burned between 35,000 and 40,000 acres of land and forced the evacuation of 50 homes at the time of the request.
In addition to Mule Dry fire, federal funding was authorized earlier this summer for the Two Fork fire in Benton County and the Rocky Hull fire in Okanogan County.
Under the authorizations, 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.