Washington, D.C.-- For the second time in one day, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has acted to help battle wildfire outbreaks in Colorado. Moving quickly when it became clear the fires were becoming a threat to lives and property, FEMA authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state in battling the Spring fire and the James John/Fisher fire, both in Las Animas County. In total, these two fires have scorched approximately 14,000 acres.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's latest request for federal fire management assistance this afternoon after it was reported that the blaze was threatening hundreds of homes. The Spring fire, seven miles west of Trinidad, was dangerously close to the communities of Stonewall, Tercio and Tores. While 12 miles East of Trinidad, the James John/Fisher fire was threatening the communities of Trinchera and Trinchera Plaza, where there are 80 to 100 homes.
"It is critical the state knows the federal government will be there for them during dangerously dry fire season," said Allbaugh. "FEMA continues to support states in their fire fighting efforts."
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, the Black Mountain fire in Park County on May 5, the Schoonover fire in Douglas County on May 23, and just earlier today, the Iron Mountain fire.
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.