FEMA Authorizes Firefighting Assistance in Hawaii

September 14, 2004

After being contacted by the State of Hawaii, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has rapidly authorized the use of federal funds to help the state fight a major fire burning on the island of Hawaii.

Michael Brown, under secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, declared the Kawaihae Road Fire on Sept. 13 under FEMA’s Fire Management Assistance Grant Program at 11 p.m. PDT, two hours after receiving a request for such a declaration from the state.

At the time of the declaration, the fire was threatening more than 100 homes in the subdivision of Uplands of Mauna Kea and had caused the mandatory evacuation of local residents.

The fire, which started Sunday, Sept. 12, had reportedly burned in excess of 1,500 acres on the Big Island.

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