Oakland, Calif. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the State of Arizona in combating the East Desert Fire burning in Maricopa County.
On May 18, 2020, the State of Arizona submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the East Desert Fire. At the time of the request, the fire threatened 132 residences in the community of Cave Creek, the commercial downtown area, and cultural and historical sites.
The fire started on May 17, 2020 and has burned in excess of 1,500 acres. Currently, there are no other large fires burning uncontrolled within the state.
The FEMA Region IX regional administrator determined that the East Desert Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. The state’s request was approved on May 18, 2020 at 11:08 a.m. PDT.
FMAGs provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides allowances 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.