Denver, CO -- The Battle Creek fire burning in Pennington County is the latest to qualify for fire assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA approved a Fire Management Assistance (FMA) grant Sunday morning, after state officials asked for help to cover the cost of fighting the blaze. The fire, which began Friday, August 16, is located approximately 10 miles southwest of Rapid City and seven miles northeast of Mount Rushmore.
"This latest fire in the Black Hills reminds us once again that the wildfire season is far from over," said FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh. "The Bush administration remains committed to supporting South Dakota's efforts to protect individuals and communities threatened by wildfires."
FMA grants are used to help manage and control fires that threaten to cause major disaster. The Battle Creek fire is the second South Dakota wildfire this year to qualify for a FEMA fire assistance grant. Earlier this summer, FEMA fire assistance was authorized for the Grizzly Gulch fire near Deadwood.
Grants are used to 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.
To date, 23 FMA grants have been authorized to help fight wildfires throughout FEMA's six-state Rocky Mountain region, which includes Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.