WASHINGTON, D.C. ?- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today authorized the use of federal funds to help California fight the Woodhouse Fire burning in Riverside County.
R. David Paulison, Acting Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the state?s request for federal fire management assistance was approved after it was confirmed that the fire threatened the community of East Moreno Valley. The fire, which started yesterday, had consumed more than 2000 acres at the time of the request.
In granting the state's request for assistance, Paulison said, "The Woodhouse fire is just another example of how this active wildfire season is far from over. FEMA is here to make sure that California has the resources needed to fight this fire, and federal government will be with the state every step of the way."
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.