WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today approved a request by the Governor of Hawaii to issue a fire grant declaration for the Lalamilo Fire, burning on the island of Hawaii, near Waikoloa Village.
Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said Hawaii's request for federal fire management assistance was approved after it was confirmed that the fire had threatened the town of Waikoloa Village. The fire, which started August 1, had consumed more than 1,600 acres at the time of the request.
"It's critical that the men and women who selflessly battle wildfires know they will continue to have the support of the federal government. This declaration is one demonstration of that support," Brown said.
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.
FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.