Denton, TX -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds late last night to help New Mexico fight the Bosque Fire* burning in Albuquerque.
When the fire management grant was authorized, the fire had left 16,000 people temporarily without electrical power, threatened 600 homes and led to the evacuation of about 1,000 people. Firefighters from 10 local departments, the State of New Mexico and two military units were tackling the blaze.
"The state's request for federal fire management assistance was approved in less than an hour," said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. "We are keenly aware of the ongoing fire risk to New Mexico communities, and we support the firefighters responding to this incident."
FEMA continues to work closely with state officials to monitor extremely dry conditions in the state. Through the fire management grant, FEMA will reimburse 75 percent of eligible state and local firefighting costs. The Bosque Fire* is the second New Mexico Fire to be eligible for FEMA assistance this year. The Walker Fire in Otero County was declared eligible for aid on May 10.
All New Mexico residents should review their homes for fire safety. For more information, check with your local fire department, the New Mexico Office of Emergency Management website, http://www.dps.nm.org/emergency/index.htm or the FEMA web site, www.fema.gov.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's mission within DHS is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and to effectively manage the federal response and recovery efforts for any national incident. To help meet this mission, FEMA oversees the National Flood Insurance Program, the U.S. Fire Administration and Citizen Corps.
* This fire was later designated as Atrisco Fire.