FEMA Will Reimburse 75 Percent In Powerhouse Fire Firefighting Costs
(Cal-EMA news release) - Gov. Jerry Brown secured federal financial assistance to help ensure the availability of firefighting resources to fight the Powerhouse Fire, which has burned 19,500 acres, forced more than 2,000 to evacuate and continues to threaten more than 1,000 homes.
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Early Sunday morning, California received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a special Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG), which provides funds to reimburse eligible firefighting expenses.
“Based on the weather conditions and threat to homes by the Powerhouse Fire, it’s critically important that we ensure our local and state firefighters have sufficient resources to fight this fire,” Cal EMA Secretary Mark Ghilarducci said. “This fire comes early in the fire season and is burning in an area that hasn’t been scorched since the 1920s.”
This federal funding provided by FEMA allows a 75 percent federal cost-share reimbursement, through the president’s disaster relief fund, to California for eligible costs incurred in firefighting activities. The other 25 percent of firefighting costs is left to the local jurisdiction.
The FMAG is available to state, local and tribal governments. The reimbursed costs must be the result of fire disaster declared by the governor and performed within the designated fire area using resources requested by incident commanders. Reimbursements can include supplies, labor, travel, repairs, administrative costs and mobilizations and demobilizations.
The Powerhouse Fire, which began at 3:41 pm Thursday, has burned about 19,500 acres and remains 20 percent contained. The fire is threatening 1,000 residences in and around the communities of Lake Hughes, Lake Elizabeth and Green Valley resulting in mandatory evacuations of at least 1,800 people. The fire is also threatening schools and high voltage power lines in the area.
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