OAKLAND, Calif. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal Fire Assistance Management Grant (FMAG) funding to help the state of California fight the Keene Fire in Kern County.
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire.
At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 250 homes in and around the Bear Valley, Golden Hills, Hart Flats, and Keene communities. The fire was also threatening buildings, equipment, infrastructure, utilities, and a watershed in the area. Voluntary evacuations were taking place for approximately 16,500 people. The fire started on September 10, 2011, and had burned in excess of 25,000 acres of state and private land.
"FEMA will continue to support our state and local partners during this time of continued heightened fire hazard," said FEMA Region IX Administrator Nancy Ward.
The President's Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for federal fire management grants made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible firefighting costs covered by the grant must meet a minimum threshold for costs before delivery of assistance. 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.