SEATTLE, Wash. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today authorized the use of federal funds to help Washington State fight the Spokane Valley Fire, burning in Spokane County.
FEMA Regional Administrator Susan Reinertson said the state's request for federal fire management assistance was approved after it was confirmed that the fire was threatening the subdivisions of Dishman Hills, Mica and Ponderosa.?? The fire, which started around 3:20 p.m. Thursday, 10 July, had consumed more than 680 acres, and forced the mandatory evacuation of 1500 people at the time of the request.??
"This declaration is the first step towards enabling the state and local governments to apply for financial help," said Reinertson. "We are committed to getting our communities the funds they need to extinguish dangerous fires that threaten lives and property." Reinertson encouraged Spokane 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 the state's 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.