Denver, CO -- Within 90 minutes of receiving a request from South Dakota Saturday night for help fighting the Grizzly Gulch fire near Deadwood, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved funds for the firefight.
"With South Dakota and the beautiful town of Deadwood now joining the list of Western areas facing the flames, I approved this grant immediately to help them fight this wildfire," said FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh. "FEMA has had more requests for help fighting wildfires in a shorter time this year than ever before. The Bush administration will continue to be there, supporting our state and local partners in this summer of fire, as long as it takes."
The Grizzly Gulch fire is the first time this year that South Dakota has requested assistance for wildfires, and the sixteenth firefight to receive FEMA aid this year in the six-state region served through FEMA's Denver office. (The six states are Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.)
FEMA's Fire Management Assistance Grants help provide resources for suppressing fires by paying 75 percent of eligible state and local costs associated with the firefight. FEMA works through the state, which coordinates the flow of funds to eligible local agencies.
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.
FEMA fire management assistance in Denver's Region 8 has been authorized in Colorado this year for the Snaking fire April 23; the Cuerna Verde fire, May 1; the Black Mountain fire, May 5; the Schoonover fire, May 23; the Iron Mountain fire, June 2; the Trinidad Complex fire, June 3; the Ute Pass fire June 7; the Coal Seam fire, June 8; the Hayman fire, June 9; the Dierich fire, June 10; the Missionary Ridge fire, June 11; the Million fire, June 19; the Wiley Ridge fire, June 23, and the Valley fire, June 25. It has also been authorized for the Hensel fire in Wyoming, June 18, and now the Grizzly Gulch fire in South Dakota, June 29.