Oakland, CA -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized firefighting funds to help fight the uncontrolled Railroad fire burning in Riverside County, California, near Lake Elsinore. The fire, which began in the early afternoon at the Lamb's Fellowship church, has caused the evacuation of about 370 people.
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 July 3 at 11:23 p.m. EDT. At that time, the 600-acre fire posed an immediate threat to more than 300 homes in the communities of Sedco Hills and Canyon Hills. The state made the request at 7:02 p.m. EDT.
The authorization is the fourth granted to the state this year. FEMA firefighting assistance was previously authorized for the Tejon fire in Kern County on June 29, the Sawmill fire in Kern County on June 28 and the Pacific fire in Los Angeles County on January 7.
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.