OAKLAND, Calif. -- Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized firefighting funds to help Nevada fight the Andrew Fire soon after it began. The fire is located between Carson City and Reno.
Michael D. Brown, under secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, approved the request for federal fire management assistance for the Andrew fire at 4:00 p.m. PDT. The request was made by the state at 2:10 p.m. PDT.
At the time the FEMA money was approved, the fire had burned more than 1,000 acres and a few residences. The fire was threatening hundreds of homes in the town of Pleasant Valley. An estimated 300 people had been evacuated.
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.