DENVER, Colo. -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for Wyoming’s Oil Creek Fire in Weston County.
This is the third Fire Management Assistance Grant for Wyoming this year, all in the last four days. Previously, FEMA approved such grants for the Arapahoe Fire and the Squirrel Creek Fire, both in Albany County.
FEMA Regional Administrator Robin Finegan approved the Fire Management Assistance Grant Monday night, July 2, upon receiving the state’s request. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening more than 300 homes in the vicinity of Osage. Mandatory evacuations were in place for approximately 400 people. The fire started on Saturday, June 30, and had burned more than 12,000 acres of state and federal land. There are six other large uncontrolled fires in Wyoming. Weather predictions for the next two days indicate the Oil Creek Fire may increase to 55,000 acres. The Regional Administrator, Robin Finegan, determined that the fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster and signed the request at 10:58 p.m. Mountain Time on Monday.
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire. These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.
Fire Management Assistance Grants 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 and 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.