Washington, D.C. -- For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a request from Oregon for federal funds to help fight another wildfire burning in Deschutes and Jefferson counties. The approval marks the eighth time in the last two weeks that FEMA firefighting aid has been made available to the state.
EMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh authorized the assistance this afternoon when it became clear that the Cache Mountain fire had destroyed two homes and posed a threat to 13,000 other residences in the Black Butte Ranch subdivision and surrounding area. The fire, which started on July 24, had burned 5,300 acres and forced the evacuation of an estimated 5,000 people.
"It's critical that the men and women fighting this recent rash of fires know they will continue to have the financial backing of the federal government to get the resources needed to save lives and protect property," Allbaugh said.
Last night, Allbaugh authorized federal fire management assistance for the Timbered Rock fire in Jackson County and the Florence fire in Josephine County. Other Oregon fires designated for FEMA firefighting funds this month were the Sheldon Ridge fire in Wasco County on July 26; the Flagtail fire in Grant County on July 19; the Squire Peak fire in Jackson County on July 17; the Winter fire in Lake County on July 16; and the Eyerly fire in Jefferson County on July 16.
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. The assistance will pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires.
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.