DENVER, Colo. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with the cost of fighting the Saunders Fire in south-central Montana. The fire is located four miles outside the town of Columbus in Stillwater County, approximately 45 miles west of Billings.
FEMA Director David Paulison approved the state’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) Tuesday, July 11, immediately after confirming that the fire was threatening more than 200 ranch homes and properties in a subdivision, and had grown to more than 2,900 acres.
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.
Fire Management Assistance Grants are 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 items can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; mobilization and demobilization activities; and tools, materials and supplies.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and administers the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.