Oakland, Calif. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the State of California in combatting the Hillside Fire burning in San Bernardino County.
On Oct. 31, 2019, the State of California submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Hillside Fire. At the time of the request, the fire threatened 1,000 homes in and around San Bernardino, with an approximate population of 220,000. The fire also threatened a water bottling plant, watershed, and utilities in the area. Mandatory evacuations were taking place for approximately 1,000 people.
The fire started on Oct. 31, 2019 and has burned in excess of 200 acres of state and private land. Currently, there are 10 other large fires burning uncontrolled within the state.
The FEMA Region IX regional administrator determined that the Hillside Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. The state’s request was approved on Oct. 31, 2019 at 5:41 a.m. PDT.
FMAGs provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps, equipment use, materials, supplies and mobilization, and demobilization activities attributed to fighting the fire.