Washington, DC -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help Florida fight another outbreak of uncontrolled wildfires burning in the counties of Charlotte, Desoto, Hardee, Manatee and Sarasota.
According to the agency, the state?s request for federal fire suppression aid was approved last night immediately after it was reported that the 4,000-acre Myakka Complex Fire, consisting of four fires, was threatening 500 homes and caused the evacuation of more than 100 residents of North Port in Sarasota County.
The authorization is the second granted to the state this week and the fifth for the year. Florida fires previously designated for assistance were the Orlando Complex Fire in Brevard, Orange and Osceola counties (April 17); the Caloosahatchee Complex Fire in Collier, Hendry and Lee counties (February 19); the Okeechobee Complex Fire in Glades, Highlands, Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties (February 19); and the Lakeland Complex Fire in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties (February 18).
Under the authorizations, FEMA is paying 70 percent of the state?s eligible firefighting costs that are above $1,520,356. 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.