DENTON, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this morning authorized the use of federal funds to help fight the La Perla Fire in Zapata County following a request from the State of Texas on Monday.
"Fire conditions in Zapata County are extreme. The La Perla Fire covered 1,000 acres and threatened 75 homes and 300 residents when the state requested federal aid," said William Peterson, FEMA regional administrator. "In order to protect lives and property, it's critical for firefighters to receive the support they need." At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 75 homes in San Ygnacio. A shelter was set up at the Zapata Community Center for residents who had to be evacuated. Peterson encourages all Zapata County residents to monitor conditions carefully and heed safety instructions issued by local officials.
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of state, local and tribal government 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 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.