SEATTLE, Wa. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) late Thursday evening authorized the use of federal funds to help the State of Idaho fight the Hurd Fire burning in Valley County.
FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy said the state’s request for federal fire management assistance was approved after it was confirmed that the fire was threatening 558 homes on the west side of Lake Cascade between the cities of Cascade and Lake Fork. The fire, which started 21 August, had consumed more than 1200 acres of federal, state and private land at the time of the request.
"FEMA is committed to providing our partners the funds they need to extinguish dangerous fires that threaten lives and property," said Murphy. "This declaration is the first step towards enabling state and local governments to apply for financial help." Murphy encouraged all Valley County residents to monitor conditions carefully and heed safety instruction 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'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.