Fire Management Assistance is available to states, local and tribal governments, for the mitigation, management, and control of fires on publicly or privately owned forests or grasslands, which threaten such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. The Fire Management Assistance declaration process is initiated when a State submits a request for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Regional Director at the time a "threat of major disaster" exists. The entire process is accomplished on an expedited basis and a FEMA decision is rendered in a matter of hours.
The Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) Program provides a 75 percent Federal cost share and the State pays the remaining 25 percent for actual costs. Before a grant can be awarded, a State must demonstrate that total eligible costs for the declared fire meet or exceed either the individual fire cost threshold - which is applies to single fires, or the cumulative fire cost threshold, which recognizes numerous smaller fires burning throughout a State.
Eligible firefighting costs may include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.