Washington, D.C. -- Federal funds were made available by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today to help California fight the uncontrolled Pines fire burning in San Diego County.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's latest request for federal fire management assistance late this afternoon when it became clear that the blaze posed an immediate threat to more than 325 homes in the communities of Whispering Pines, Kentwood-in-the-Pines and Julian. Thirty structures in Whispering Pines reportedly were destroyed by the 3,000-acre fire, which started yesterday and had forced the evacuation of 300 people at the time of the request.
The authorization is the seventh granted to the state for this year. FEMA firefighting assistance was previously authorized for the Deer fire in Kern County on July 22; the Louisiana fire in San Bernardino County on June 27; the Blue Cut fire in San Bernardino County on June 17; the Copper fire in Los Angeles County on June 6; the Antonio fire in Orange County on May 14; and the Gavilan fire in San Diego County on February 11.
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 pays 75 percent of a 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.