BOTHELL, Wash. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Andrus Fire burning in Spokane County, Washington.
FEMA Region 10 Acting Regional Administrator Vincent Maykovich 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, July 5, 2021, at 9:05 p.m. PT. This is the first FMAG declared to help fight Washington wildfires in 2021.
At the time of the State’s request, the fire was threatening homes in and around the city of Cheney. The fire also threatened communication sites, roads, a school, electrical infrastructure, and recreational facilities in the area. Washington continues to experience extreme heat conditions and has burn bans and red flag warnings in place.
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. 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.
With this FMAG authorization, an additional $778,778 will be available to Washington 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. The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 authorizes 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’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.