Denver, CO -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today authorized the use of federal funds to help Colorado fight the Cherokee Ranch Fire burning in Douglas County, in the southeastern Denver metropolitan area about ten miles north of Castle Rock.
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 immediately after confirming that the fire was threatening numerous homes in the area, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents.
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. Earlier today, FEMA authorized fire management assistance for the Overland Fire in Boulder 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 items can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; mobilization and demobilization activities; and tools, materials and supplies.
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.