DENTON, TEXAS -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) last night authorized the use of federal funds to help New Mexico fight the Ojo Feliz Fire burning in Mora County.
"When the state requested federal assistance, the fire was a quarter mile from the Town of Ojo Feliz, threatened 100 homes and grew from 150 to 1500 acres in 30 minutes, with flames estimated at 150 feet in height," said R. David Paulison, Acting Director of FEMA. "We never want the cost of fighting wildfires to limit the resources needed to protect people and minimize property loss."
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of state, local and tribal 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.