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 firefighting costs for the Country Club fire in Lewis and Clark County. This is the fourth Montana wildfire since August to qualify for FEMA firefighting funds.
FEMA approved Montana's request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Country Club Fire Sunday evening, Sept. 16, 2007 at 7:08 p.m. MDT, less than one hour after receiving the state's request. At the time of the state's request the fire was burning uncontained and threatening more than 500 homes and six businesses in the City of Helena. A mandatory evacuation was issued for 400-500 homes, according to the state's request. The state also reported six other large fires burning uncontrolled within Montana. 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. These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.
FEMA authorized the use of federal funds for the Jocko Lakes Fire on Aug. 4, the Black Cat Fire on Aug. 16 and the Ford Road Fire on Aug. 19.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.