Additional Federal Funds Approved For Southeast Georgia Wildfires

April 30, 2007

Gov. Sonny Perdue said additional federal funds were authorized to assist in fighting the “Kneeknocker Fire” that has flared up again in Georgia’s Brantley County, just outside the city limits of Nahunta.

The funds were requested by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency as hundreds of firefighters finished their second week of battling wildfires in southeast Georgia, fueled by extreme drought conditions, low humidity and gusty winds. Initial aid was approved on April 18 to help firefighting efforts in Ware County.

“I appreciate FEMA’s continuing support in our efforts to battle these fires that are threatening our citizens, as well as the natural resources within the Okefenokee Swamp,” Perdue said. “This has been a true team effort of federal, state and local agencies working together.”

The fire was contained a week ago, however as winds increased last week, the fire reignited and began to spread, burning numerous acres and forcing the evacuation of at least 25 homes. One firefighter suffered minor injuries and three uninhabited structures were destroyed.

Under the authorization, FEMA will pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs. Federal fire suppression aid is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires when they threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered can include expenses for emergency equipment, supplies, operations centers, firefighter safety items, mobilization costs and other firefighting needs.

Source: Office of the Governor of Georgia

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