Washington, D.C. -- Federal disaster funds have been made available for Arizona to help the state and local governments in Pima County recover from the effects of the Aspen fire that erupted last month, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA Director and Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Department of Homeland Security, said President Bush authorized the aid under a major disaster declaration issued today following a review of FEMA's analysis of the state's request for federal relief. The declaration covers damage to public property from the fire that began on June 17.
Immediately after the declaration, Brown designated Pima County eligible for federal funding to pay affected local governments 75 percent of the approved costs for debris removal, emergency services related to the fire, and the repair or replacement of damaged public facilities. The declaration also makes cost-shared funding available to the state for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Brown indicated that additional designations may be made later if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. He noted that FEMA already has made funding available to supplement the state's costs for fighting the Aspen fire under a fire management assistance grant authorized on June 18.
Michael J. Hall of FEMA was named by Brown to coordinate federal recovery operations. Hall said that procedures for requesting assistance will be explained at a series of applicant briefings at locations to be announced shortly in the affected area.