Washington -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today authorized the use of federal funds to help Oregon fight the outbreak of an uncontrolled wildfire burning in Jefferson County within 60 minutes of being contacted by the state.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's request for federal fire management assistance early this morning after confirming that the Eyerly fire had burned 18 homes and was endangering another 300 dwellings in the Three Rivers Subdivision. The fire, which started July 9, had consumed 17,000 acres and forced the evacuation of 400 people at the time of the request.
"Through close cooperation with the state of Oregon, we were able to quickly provide this support to the fire services fighting this dangerous fire and commend 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 Eyerly fire is the first to be designated for Oregon this year under the Federal Fire Management Assistance Grant 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 that 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.