SEATTLE - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Nine Mile Fire burning in Okanogan County, Washington.
FEMA Region X Regional Administrator Kenneth D. Murphy determined that the fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. Murphy approved the state of Washington’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) at 11:00 p.m. PDT on Aug. 13, 2015.
At the time of the request, the fire had burned 10-12 structures, including primary residences, and was immediately threatening 660 homes in and around the communities of Nine Mile Ranches, Old Tressel, Canyon View and Rise Road near Oroville. Multiple facilities, including roads, bridges, power and natural gas lines, as well as several private businesses were also threatened. More than 400 people have been evacuated and a shelter has been established at Oroville High School.
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.