DENVER, Colo. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) tonight authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for Montana's Eagle Mount Fire. The fire is located just west of Columbus, in Stillwater County.
FEMA approved Montana's request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) Thursday night at 11:45 p.m. (MDT), after receiving the state's request confirming that the fire had burned 1,220 acres of state and private land and threatened more than 100 homes within the subdivisions of Eagle Mountain Ranch and Columbus Heights, forcing 250-300 residents to evacuate. At the time of the request, the fire posed and imminent threat to the town of Columbus and Interstate 90 was intermittently closed due to fire activity on both sides of the highway.
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. These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.
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.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.