ATLANTA – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized federal funds to reimburse costs to Florida to fight the Five Mile Swamp fire in Santa Rosa County.
This authorization makes FEMA grant funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fires. Eligible costs can include labor, equipment and supplies used for fighting the fire and costs for emergency work such as evacuations and sheltering, police barricading and traffic control.
“This funding allows Florida to get the resources needed to fight these fires and save lives, structures and property,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech. “Our thoughts are with those who’ve been affected.”
The state requested a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG), and it was granted late in the evening on May 6, 2020. The fire threatens more than 1,300 residences east of Avalon Blvd and south of I-10. At the time of the request, the fire had burned in excess of 370 acres and was 40 percent contained. The fire is also threatening buildings, businesses, infrastructure and utilities in the area.
Federal fire management assistance grants are provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to reimburse costs associated with 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.
FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during and after disasters.