Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help suppress another uncontrolled Texas wildfire burning in Smith County. The authorization is the tenth granted this month and the sixteenth since the beginning of the year.
According to the agency, the state's latest request for fire suppression funding was approved last night after it was reported that the 150-acre Pine Cove fire posed a threat to 60 homes and five commercial buildings near the community of Tyler.
Texas fires previously designated for assistance include the Milam Street fire in Caldwell County (Sept. 10); the Deep Creek fire in McCulloch and San Saba counties (Sept. 8); the Frost fire in Kendall County and the Mesquite Creek fire in Lampasas County (Sept. 7); the Sheppard Reese fire in Kerr County, the Warren Chapel fire in Tyler County and the Peach Creek fire in Montgomery County (Sept. 5); the Stanley Mainline fire in Liberty County (Sept. 4); the Moore Branch fire in Newton County (Sept. 3); the Ranger Hill fire in Eastland County (Aug. 30); the Live Oak Loop fire in Hill County (Aug. 26); the Chicken fire in Nacogdoches County (Aug. 24); the Bob's Trail fire in Bastrop County (Jan. 5); the Purgatory fire in Comal County (Jan. 4); and the Saddleback fire in Wise County (Jan. 3).
Under the authorizations, FEMA will pay 70 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs that are above $355,097. 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.