DENVER – This afternoon, FEMA authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Poverty Flats Fire burning in Big Horn County and Crow Agency in Montana.
FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Tammy Littrell approved the state’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) after receiving the request earlier today and determining that the fire threatened such destruction that it would constitute a major disaster.
At the time of the request, the Poverty Flats Fire was threatening more than 1,240 homes in and around the Crow Agency and the town of Hardin in Big Horn County. The fire is also threatening buildings, infrastructure, utilities, equipment, and roads in the area. The fire started yesterday, July 27, 2021 and has burned more than 65,000 acres of 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 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.
With the FMAG authorization, additional funding is made available through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Post Fire for the mitigation of wildfire and related hazards, such as flood after fire or erosion. Some eligible wildfire project types include defensible space measures, ignition-resistant construction, and hazardous fuels reduction.
For more information on FMAGs, visit https://www.fema.gov/fire-management-assistance-grants-program-details. For HMGP Post Fire, visit https://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-grant-program-post-fire.