Oakland, CA -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency swiftly moved to authorize the use of federal funds to help Arizona fight the uncontrolled fire burning in Pima County, near Marshall Peak. The Aspen Fire, which has burned 100 acres, marks the state's first request for federal fire management assistance in 2003.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA director and under secretary for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, approved the state's request for federal fire management assistance on June 18 at 1:37 a.m. EDT, after confirming that the Aspen Fire threatened residents of Summerhaven and other populated areas. The fire started in the late afternoon on June 17, about 7:30 p.m. EDT. The request was made by the state to FEMA at 12:50 p.m. EDT.
Currently the Aspen Fire threatens nearly 500 residences and 12 businesses. There has been a mandatory evacuation of more than 500 residents.
"We are committed to assisting our nation's firefighters in getting them the resources they need to quickly extinguish these fires that threaten people's lives and property," Brown said.
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.