Washington, D.C.-- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds to help Wyoming fight the outbreak of an uncontrolled wildfire burning in Albany and Converse counties within 90 minutes of being contacted by the state.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's request for federal fire management assistance last night after confirming that the 3,700-acre Hensel fire was endangering approximately 70 homes in the community of Harris Park and the village of Esterbrook.
"Through close cooperation with the state of Wyoming we were able to quickly provide this support to the fire services fighting this dangerous fire and are proud of the outstanding work they are doing to contain it," 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.
The Hensel fire is the first to be designated for Wyoming 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.