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 the West Fork Fire in Lincoln County Montana.
FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Nancy J. Dragani approved the state’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) after receiving the state’s request Saturday evening.
At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 747 homes in and around Libby, Montana. The fire is also threatening buildings, businesses, transmission lines, cell towers, and three watersheds in the area. The fire started on August 30, 2017, and has burned in excess of 8700 acres of Federal, State and private land. The fire is zero percent contained.
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.
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.