"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," FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said.
Allbaugh approved the state's latest request for federal fire management assistance last night after confirming that the Borrego fire posed an immediate threat to 250 homes and forced the evacuation of nearly 400 residences in the communities of Cordova, Truchas and surrounding areas. The fire, which started last Wednesday, had burned between 600 and 1,000 acres at the time of the request.
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 this year for the Dalton fire in San Miguel County on May 7, 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.