FEMA Backs Funds to Help Calif. Fight Quartz Fire

July 28, 2005

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this week authorized the use of federal funds to help California fight the Quartz fire burning near Madera County’s Coarsegold community.

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 had threatened 100 homes in the Indian Lakes and Flying O subdivisions. It had also resulted in the evacuation of 70 persons, as well as the destruction of one mobile home and five outbuildings.

The fire, which started on Monday, July 25, had consumed more than 800 acres at the time of the request, 8:50 p.m. EDT Monday, July 25. The FEMA assistance grant was approved at 10:51 p.m. EDT Monday, July 25.

“This declaration is the first step towards enabling the state and local governments to apply for financial help,” said Brown. “We are committed to getting our firefighters the funds they need to extinguish dangerous fires that threaten lives and property.”

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.

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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