Oakland, CA -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the 10th time this year has authorized the use of federal funds to help fight an uncontrolled wildfire in California, the Sierra fire affecting 500 acres in the eastern suburbs of Sacramento.
FEMA Director Joe M. Allbaugh approved the state's request for federal fire management assistance at 9:44 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, after confirming that the Sierra fire threatened the communities of Loomis and Granite Bay in Sacramento County. The fire also threatened two schools and a fire station and destroyed six structures, including 3 homes. One hundred homes were evacuated with 1,000 more homes in both communities being threatened.
"It's important for firefighters in California and elsewhere to know that they will continue to have the support of the federal government in their battles to save lives and protect property during this extremely dangerous fire season," Allbaugh said.
FEMA firefighting assistance was previously authorized for the Leona fire in Los Angeles County on September 4, the Squirrel fire in Shasta County, the Pines fire in San Diego County on July 30, 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.
FEMA is the federal agency that coordinates response efforts to federally declared disasters. The agency's 10 regional offices work directly with states to plan for and respond to disasters, develop mitigation programs and meet public needs when disasters happen. FEMA Region IX serves the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia.