Washington, D.C.-- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today authorized federal funds to help New Mexico fight the uncontrolled Dalton fire burning in San Miguel County. The action marks the third time this year that FEMA firefighting assistance has been made available to the state.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's latest request for federal fire management assistance this morning immediately after it was confirmed that the blaze posed a threat to 200 homes in the community of Pecos, located east of Santa Fe. At the time of the request, the fire had consumed more than 500 acres and forced the evacuation of 500 people, including occupants of a school and a historical site.
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 granted to the state for the Panesco fire in Otero County on May 1 and the Kokopelli Fire Complex in Lincoln County on March 23.
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.