BOTHELL, Wash. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Boyds Fire burning in Ferry County, Wash.
FEMA Region 10 Administrator Mike O’Hare determined that the fire threatened to cause such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. He approved the state of Washington’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) on Monday.
The fire, which started Saturday, had burned in excess of 3,000 acres of state and federal land and forced the closure of portions of State Route 20 at the time of Monday’s FMAG request. The blaze was threatening homes in and around the communities of Boyds, Barney’s Junction and Deadman Creek, as well as buildings, roads and bridges, a fire station, utilities and other infrastructure. Mandatory evacuation orders were issued and an American Red Cross shelter was opened at Kettle Falls High School in neighboring Stevens County.
This was FEMA’s fourth Fire Management Assistance declaration for the state of Washington in as many days and the ninth fire declaration for the state since July 10.
FMAGs are provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund and are 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.
In addition to reimbursement funding for fighting the fires, $566,667 in assistance will be available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) as a result of each FMAG. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 authorized FEMA to provide HMGP Post-Fire funds to eligible states and territories that receive Fire Management Assistance declarations and federally recognized tribes that have land burned within a designated area.
FEMA encourages HMGP Post-Fire funds be used for the mitigation of wildfire and related hazards, such as flood or erosion. However, HMGP is available for risk reduction of any hazard.
FEMA's mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.