BOTHELL, Wash. - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Schneider Springs Fire burning in Yakima County, Washington.
The state of Washington’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) was approved by FEMA Region 10 Acting Administrator Vincent Maykovich on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, at 6:25 p.m. PT. He determined that the Schneider Springs Fire threatened to cause such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. This is the eighth FMAG declared in 2021 to help fight Washington wildfires.
At the time of the state’s request, the wildfire threatened homes in and around the communities of Nile and Cliffdell. The fire also threatened critical communications infrastructure as well as fishing streams and spawning sites for threatened species.
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. This 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.
In addition to the firefighting funds authorized under this FMAG, another $778,778 will be available to Washington through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Post Fire for the mitigation of future wildfires 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.