OAKLAND, Calif. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help California fight the Orchard Fire near Calimesa, Riverside County.
A Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) was approved September 17, 2006. At the time of the grant, the Orchard Fire had grown to 500 acres and was threatening a mobile home park. The fire, exacerbated by the Santa Ana winds blowing from the East at 25-35 mph, was not contained at the time of the declaration. To date, seven structures have been destroyed.
"It's critical that the men and women who selflessly battle wildfires know they will continue to have the support of the federal government,” said Karen Armes, acting Regional Director of FEMA Region IX. “This declaration is one demonstration of that support," Armes said.
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 mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program.