Washington, DC -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help Washington State fight another uncontrolled wildfire burning in Okanogan County.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA Director and Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Department of Homeland Security, approved the state's request for federal fire management assistance late last night immediately after confirming that the Okanogan City fire had destroyed about 10 homes and posed a threat to another 75 dwellings in the city of Okanogan. The fire, which started yesterday, had consumed more than 200 acres and forced the evacuation of 1,000 people at the time of the request.
"FEMA is committed to supporting Washington State's firefighting efforts whenever there is a clear and present danger to life and property," Brown said.
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires.
The Okanogan City fire is the second Washington State wildfire authorized for FEMA assistance this year. The aid was previously made available last Saturday to help fight the Middle Fork fire in Yakima County.
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. 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.