Denver, CO -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized federal funds Monday evening for the Reese Mountain Fire, approximately 30 miles west of Wheatland.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's request for federal fire management assistance to help with the costs of this blaze, believed to have started Saturday evening from lightning. As of Monday evening, the fire has burned more than 6,000 acres and continues to pose a threat to about 100 structures.
Allbaugh, who has seen some of the western wildfires first-hand this year, said, "I know that FEMA resources can play an important part in fighting this fire. The Bush Administration is committed to helping the firefighters and the people of Wyoming get through this unprecedented fire season."
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 FEMA fire grant for Reese Mountain marks the second time in two weeks that Wyoming has received federal assistance for wildfire suppression costs. On June 18, federal assistance was approved to help fight the Hensel fire, located about 20 miles northwest of Wheatland. That fire, also reportedly started by lightning, now has burned more than 14,000 acres and is believed to be better than 90 percent contained.
FEMA provides 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 Grizzly Gulch fire near Deadwood, South Dakota, June 29 and the Again fire in North Dakota, June 29.