Washington, May 17, 2001 -- Federal funds have been made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the second time this week to help Florida fight another outbreak of uncontrolled wildfires burning in Escambia County.
The state's latest request for federal fire suppression aid was approved yesterday after it was reported that the 1,000-acre Escambia Complex Fire posed an immediate threat to more than 150 homes and forced the evacuation of at least 100 people in the subdivision of Beulah.
The authorization is the eighth granted to the state this year and follows a funding request that was approved May 15 for the Chipola River Complex Fire in Walton and Washington counties.
Florida fires previously designated for assistance were the Everglades Complex Fire in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties (April 25); the Myakka Complex Fire in Charlotte, Desoto, Hardee, Manatee and Sarasota counties (April 18); 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.