NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs in southern New Jersey.
The wildfire, which initially prompted the evacuation of 2,500 homes after it started late Tuesday afternoon, originated in Little Egg Harbor and traveled toward Stafford and Barnegat Townships. Numerous neighborhoods and mobile homes in Burlington and Ocean counties were evacuated.
FEMA Director David Paulison approved New Jersey’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) early this morning, after confirming that the wildfire posed a threat to lives and property. The grant authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires.
Fire Management Assistance Grants are provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund and are 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.
“The Fire Management Assistance Grant program is designed to advert disasters by supporting states’ early, and aggressive, response to wildfires,” said Steven Kempf, FEMA’s Regional Director for New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
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.