DENVER, Colo. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today authorized the use of federal funds to help South Dakota fight the Mill Road Fire that is burning in Pennington 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 immediately after confirming that the fire was threatening more than 200 homes and businesses. The Mill Road Fire had consumed more than 600 acres at the time of the request.
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. State firefighting costs covered by the aid must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided. Eligible items 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.