Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today approved another request from Washington State for federal fire management funds to help cover the costs of fighting the Pickens fire, which has burned in Okanogan County since July 24.
At the time of the state's request, the fire had burned approximately 2,000 acres and was reportedly threatening almost 150 homes, causing the evacuation of 100 residents. The fire was also threatening a communications structure that supports the local 911 emergency system.
"The Bush Administration and FEMA will do everything we can to help Washington State make it through this difficult fire season," FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh said. "The season is far from over and we will be with the state every step of the way."
Fire management assistance grants are used to help manage and control fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. The grants 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.
The Pickens fire is the second Washington State wildfire this year to be designated for FEMA fire management assistance. The state was previously authorized for the aid on July 20 to help fight the Deer Point fire in Chelan County.