Denver, CO - Federal funding for certain fire suppression costs now has been authorized for Flathead County, Montana by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Michael D. Brown, FEMA Director and Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at Homeland Security, Thursday approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant for the Flathead Fire Zone, which encompasses all fires burning in Flathead County.
State officials requested the FEMA assistance after lightning sparked a host of new fires Wednesday night throughout the county.
On July 25, FEMA fire management assistance was authorized for the Robert fire and for the Wedge Canyon fire, both in Flathead County. Thursday's announcement means that certain state and local costs to fight other fires throughout the county now are eligible for federal reimbursement as well.
The Flathead Fire Zone designation marks the eighth FEMA fire assistance grant authorized for Montana since July 23. The Fire Management Assistance Grant program makes federal funding available to pay 75 percent of eligible state and local firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling fires that threaten to cause major disasters.
Eligible 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 Citizens Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.