Denver, CO -- A wildfire threatening the town of Dutch John in northeastern Utah is the latest blaze to be eligible for federal funds to help with firefighting costs, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA approved a fire management assistance grant Monday evening after state officials asked for help to cover the costs of fighting the blaze, named Mustang fire. About 200 people have been evacuated from Dutch John and reports indicate the fire poses a threat to more than 125 structures in town, including a school. The fire is believed to have started from sparks that ignited grass when a vehicle pulling a trailer blew a tire.
In granting the request, FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said, "It is clear that the Mustang fire is posing a significant threat to the residents of Dutch John. The Bush Administration is committed to helping the firefighters bring this situation under control as quickly as possible."
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.
The grant for the Mustang fire marks the first time FEMA assistance has been provided for Utah this fire season. Until now, Utah's wildfires have not posed an imminent threat to communities as have the dozens of other fires in western states.
federal fire management assistance to help manage and control fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. The assistance covers eligible state and local 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; the Grizzly Gulch fire near Deadwood, South Dakota, June 29, the Again fire in North Dakota, June 29, the Reese Mountain fire in Wyoming, July1.