ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help the State of Alaska fight the Taylor Complex Fire burning 5 miles northeast of Tok.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the state's request for federal fire management assistance was approved at 8:46 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, September 1, 2004, after it was confirmed that the fire was threatening over 311 residences and communications towers for the whole area. The Taylor Complex consists of multiple fires, many of which have now merged: Billy Creek, Gardiner Creek, Chicken and Porcupine fires.
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 must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided.
Eligible 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.