OAKLAND, Calif. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has made available federal funds to help fight California’s Stevens fire burning close to Alpine Meadows, a residential area near Colfax, Placer County.
The Stevens fire, which began yesterday and has prompted the mandatory evacuation of 100 people, threatens 100 homes. It is also threatening a main railroad line and Interstate Highway 80. The fire has burned 220 acres, and an estimated 2,000 acres could burn.
Michael D. Brown, under secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, approved the latest request for federal fire management assistance for the Stevens fire on August 8, 2004, at 8:20 p.m. EDT. The request was made by the state shortly before, at 7:15 p.m. EDT.
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. The assistance pays 75 percent of a state’s eligible firefighting and emergency response costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires. 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 the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.