For the eighth time this year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized federal funds to help Colorado battle a wildfire threatening lives and property. FEMA approved the assistance tonight for the Coal Seam fire in Garfield County.
FEMA has now provided as many fire assistance grants in the state this year as in the preceding eight years combined. FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's latest request for federal fire management assistance earlier this evening when it became clear that the blaze was a threat to hundreds of homes and businesses.
"Colorado is on pace to have the most destructive fire season in its history," Allbaugh said. "FEMA stands ready to assist state firefighting efforts whenever wildfires threaten to become a major disaster."
In addition to the Coal Seam fire, FEMA fire management assistance has been authorized in Colorado this year for the Snaking fire on April 23; the Cuerna Verde fire on May 1; the Black Mountain fire on May 5; the Schoonover fire on May 23; the Iron Mountain fire on June 2; the Trinidad Complex fire on June 3; and the Ute Pass fire on June 7.
Federal fire management assistance is made available by FEMA to manage, mitigate and control fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. The assistance covers eligible state firefighting costs, including expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.
Between 1994 and 2001, FEMA firefighting assistance was provided in Colorado for the Wake Complex, South Canyon and Roxborough Complex fires in 1994; the Buffalo Creek fire in 1996; the Bobcat Gulch, Hi Meadow and Eldorado fires in 2000; and the Armageddon fire in 2001.
More valuable information about this fire can be found at http://www.nifc.gov/news/sitreprt.pdf