Washington, DC -- Federal funds have been made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Washington State battle the uncontrolled Union Valley fire located in Chelan County.
According to the agency, the state's request for federal fire suppression aid was approved over the past weekend immediately after it was reported that the blaze had destroyed two homes and posed a threat to another 75 dwellings in a subdivision near the city of Chelan. The fire, which started last Saturday, had forced the evacuation of about 50 people at the time of the request and currently is burning on more than 4,000 acres of land.
Under the authorization, 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.