Seattle, WA -- The U. S. Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help Washington State fight the outbreak of an uncontrolled wildfire threatening the Lost River Airport Association subdivision in Okanogan County.
Michael D. Brown, FEMA Director and Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response at Homeland Security, approved the state?s request for federal fire management assistance Saturday evening. The fire, which started Friday, had burned in excess of 6,000 acres of federal, state and private land.
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.
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.
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.