Oakland, CA -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized firefighting funds to help Arizona fight the uncontrolled Kinishba fire burning on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation within hours of being contacted by the state.
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 14 at 4:22 p.m. EDT. At that time, the 5,000-acre fire posed an immediate threat to more than 3,000 homes; 10,000 people were prepared to evacuate in the community of Pinetop-Lakeside. The state made the request at 2:15 p.m. EDT.
The authorization is the third granted to the state this year. FEMA firefighting assistance was previously authorized for the Ash fire in Cochise County on June 21 and the Aspen fire in Pima County on June 18.
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.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.