Denver, CO -- The Big Elk fire, which started Wednesday in Larimer County, is the latest to qualify for fire suppression assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant Thursday, after state officials asked for help to cover the costs of fighting the blaze. At the time of the request, the fire reportedly was threatening more than 125 structures.
"With this latest wildfire threatening Larimer County, our commitment to the people of Colorado remains strong," said FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh. "Both FEMA and the Bush Administration will continue to support our state and local partners in this season of fire."
Fire Management Assistance Grants are used to help manage and control fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. The Big Elk fire is the sixteenth Colorado wildfire this year to qualify for a FEMA fire assistance grant.
The grants are used to reimburse 75 percent of eligible state and local costs associated with the firefight. The assistance covers costs such as firefighting and support services; pre-positioning federal and out-of-state resources; evacuations; sheltering; traffic control; security; and emergency operations centers.
FEMA fire management assistance in Denver's Region 8 has been authorized this year for fires in five states. In Colorado, grants have been approved 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, the Burn Canyon fire, July 15. In other states, fire management assistance grants also have 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 and the Mustang fire in Utah, July 1.