Washington, D.C.-- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds to help Minnesota fight an uncontrolled wildfire burning in Crow Wing County.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's request for federal fire management assistance early Saturday after it was confirmed the fire threatened residences, businesses, farms and other structures. At the time of Allbaugh's action, the fire had burned approximately 1,000 acres of forest and grassland. The path of the fire had caused the temporary evacuation of between 200 to 500 people, all of who have since returned to their homes.
"FEMA is committed to giving our nation's firefighters the resources they need to quickly extinguish fires that threaten people's lives and property," Allbaugh said.
Under the authorization, FEMA will pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires.
The By Pass wildfire is the first to be designated for Minnesota this year under the Federal Fire Management Assistance Program. FEMA recently streamlined the rules for the program to better support state and local firefighting efforts.
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.