FEMA Backs Funds to Help Ariz. Fight Bobby Fire

June 10, 2005

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help Arizona fight the Bobby fire burning northwest of Phoenix in Maricopa County.

Michael Brown, under secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, said the state’s request for federal fire management assistance was approved after it was confirmed that the fire threatened 300 homes in the Whispering Ranch subdivision and firefighters needed as many resources as possible on the fire because of weather conditions and heavy vegetation. The fire, which started June 8, had consumed about 1,000 acres when the request was made on June 8 at 4:30 p.m.

“It’s critical that the men and women who selflessly battle wildfires know they will continue to have the support of the federal government. This declaration is one demonstration of that support,” Brown said.

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. The Bobby fire is the second Fire Management Assistance Grant for the state of Arizona this year. The first grant was for the Vekol fire in Pinal County on May 26.

Federal fire management assistance is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided.

Eligible costs covered by the aid can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.

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