Washington, D.C.-- Federal funds were authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today to help Colorado fight the uncontrolled Schoonover fire burning since last Tuesday in Douglas County. The action marks the fourth time in the last 30 days 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 afternoon immediately after it was confirmed that the 4,000-acre blaze posed an imminent threat to at least 100 homes and forced the evacuation of numerous other residences near the town of Deckers, located about 20 miles southwest of Denver.
"FEMA remains committed to helping firefighters get the resources they need to extinguish fires that put people's lives and property in harm's way," 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, the Cuerna Verde fire in Custer County on May 1, and the Black Mountain fire in Park County on May 5.
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.