Oakland, CA -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help California fight the uncontrolled Tejon fire burning in southern Kern County, near the border of Los Angeles County. The authorization is the second granted in the past 48 hours and the third granted to the state this year.
Michael D. Brown, under secretary for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FEMA director, approved the request for federal fire management assistance on June 29 at 11:30 p.m. EDT. At that time, the 1,000-acre fire threatened 750 homes in the communities of Lebec, Digier and O'Neil Canyon. The fire had forced the evacuation of about 2,500 people. The state made the request at 9:20 p.m. EDT.
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 firefighting assistance was previously authorized for the Sawmill fire in Kern County on June 28 and the Pacific fire in Los Angeles County on January 7.