Oakland, CA -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds to help California fight the uncontrolled Deer fire burning in Kern County northeast of Bakersfield, near Lake Isabella.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's request for federal fire management assistance on July 21 after confirming that the Deer fire threatened populated areas near South Lake. The state's request for federal assistance was approved in less than one hour.
The cause of the fire, which started on July 21, is still under investigation. The fire is threatening about 200 residences and 50 businesses in the Lake Isabella area.
"FEMA is committed to assisting our nation's firefighters in getting them the resources they need to quickly extinguish this fire that threatens people's lives and property," Allbaugh said. This authorization marks the fifth time this year that FEMA firefighting funds have been made available for California.
Federal fire management assistance is provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting wildfires that threaten to cause a major disaster. The assistance pays 75 percent of a state's eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling designated wildfires.
Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid can include expenses for field camps, equipment, repair and replacement tools, materials and supplies, and mobilization and demobilization activities.
FEMA is the federal agency that coordinates response efforts to federal disasters. The agency's 10 regional offices work directly with the states to help plan for disasters, develop mitigation programs and meet needs when disasters occur. FEMA Region IX serves the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.