DENVER – Friday evening, FEMA authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Buffalo Fire burning in Yellowstone County, Montana near Huntley.
FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Tammy Littrell approved the state’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) after receiving the request Friday evening and determining that the fire threatened such destruction that it would constitute a major disaster.
At the time of the request, the Buffalo Fire was threatening 285 homes, which were under an evacuation order. The fire started Friday and has burned more than 325 acres.
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. It is a reimbursable program. 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.
When there is an 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.