Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help Washington State fight the outbreak of an uncontrolled wildfire burning in Chelan County.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's request for federal fire management assistance last Saturday immediately after confirming that the Deer Point fire was endangering 300 homes in the town of Manson and surrounding areas. The fire, which started July 15, had consumed 12,000 acres and forced the evacuation of 700 people at the time of the request.
"These fires are a serious threat to life and property," Allbaugh said. "FEMA is committed to ensuring that firefighters in the state of Washington and elsewhere have the resources they need to contain them before people are injured and homes are lost."
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 Deer Point fire is the first to be designated for Washington State 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.