Washington, D.C.-- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has again moved swiftly to help Colorado battle another wildfire outbreak, authorizing the use of federal funds within 75 minutes of being contacted by the state of the threat posed by the Black Mountain fire to populated areas in Park County.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's latest request for federal fire management assistance last night after it was reported that the 250-acre blaze, which started Sunday, had forced the evacuation of 2,500 homes and 6,000 people in seven subdivisions located southwest of Denver.
"We are committed to acting in a moment's notice to support firefighting efforts in Colorado and elsewhere whenever there is a clear and present danger to life and property," Allbaugh said.
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires. FEMA firefighting assistance was previously authorized this year for the Snaking fire in Park County on April 23 and the Cuerna Verde fire in Custer County on May 1.
Federal fire management assistance 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.