DENVER - 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 Highway 200 Complex in Sanders 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 Sunday evening.
At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 925 homes and businesses in and around Plains, MT. The fire is also threatening buildings, power transmission lines, telephone transmission lines, cellular towers, Conoco Phillips Gas pipeline, buildings, equipment and the Clark Four River watershed in the area. The fire started on August 30, 2017, and has burned in excess of 21,380 acres of State and private land. The fire is 14 percent contained. The Highway 200 Complex encompasses fires: Sheep Gap, Cub Creek, Readers, Deep Creek, and Miller Creek.
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.