SEATTLE – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Spromberg Fire burning in Chelan County, Washington.
The FEMA Region X Acting Regional Administrator, Sharon Loper, determined that the fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. Loper approved the state of Washington’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) at 7:09 p.m. PDT on May 23, 2017.
At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 151 homes in and around Chumstick Highway and 17 homes in Eagle Creek area. Approximately 168 of the threatened homes are primary residences and zero are secondary homes. The fire was also threatening Chelan Public Utility District, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Bonneville Power Administration line, watershed, fishing streams and spawning sites, wildlife and cultural resources in the area. Voluntary Level 3 (GO) evacuations were issued for approximately 338 people. The fire started on May 23, 2017, and had burned in excess of 40 acres of federal, state, private, and Tribal land. There were no other large fires burning uncontrolled within the state. The Principal Advisor confirmed the threat. The fire was zero percent contained at the time of FMAG approval.
“FEMA recognizes the hard work put in by fire fighters and emergency response workers under extremely difficult circumstances,” said FEMA Region X Acting Administrator Sharon Loper. “These funds will assist Washington with costs associated with fighting the fire and help protect lives and property.”
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state of Washington’s eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires. These grants provide reimbursement for firefighting and life-saving efforts. They do not provide assistance to individuals, homeowners or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.
FMAGs 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.