BOTHELL, Wash. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Chuweah Creek Fire burning in Washington.
In coordination with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the State of Washington submitted a request to FEMA for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) declaration for the Chuweah Creek Fire on Monday, July 12, 2021. FEMA Region 10 Acting Regional Administrator Vincent Maykovich determined that the fire threatened to cause such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. He approved the State’s request on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at 6:27 p.m. PT, making it the second FMAG declared to help fight Washington wildfires in 2021.
At the time of the State’s request, the fire was threatening homes in and around the community of Nespelem. The fire was also threatening roads, tribal government buildings, a tribal prison, parks and recreation facilities, farms, utilities, the local watershed, streams and fish spawning sites, as well as locations of cultural significance. These homes and facilities are on tribal land and are under tribal jurisdiction.
FMAGs are provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund and are 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. 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.
With this FMAG authorization, an additional $778,778 will be available to Washington through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Post Fire for the mitigation of wildfire and related hazards, such as flood after fire or erosion. Eligible wildfire project types include defensible space measures, ignition-resistant construction, and hazardous fuels reduction. The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 authorizes FEMA to provide HMGP Post-Fire funds to eligible states and territories that receive Fire Management Assistance declarations and federally recognized tribes that have land burned within a designated area.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.