Fact Sheet on Reimbursement for Costs of Firefighting on Federal Property

This program that allows for reimbursement for the costs of fighting fires on federal property has been available to the fire service since the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s responsibility is to assist the nation’s fire service in taking advantage of such programs.

Under this program, the fire department submits to the United States Fire Administration a claim for the costs associated with fighting fire on federal property–i.e., a federally owned office, base, installation, building, forest, or other property holding.

It is not a grant program, and it’s not authorization for federal agencies to enter into contracts with local fire agencies. In most cases, fire protection must be provided at no charge to federal property, as long as it isn’t under federal-exclusive jurisdiction and is within the area over which a department normally provides protection.

Information necessary to support a claim includes the following:

WHO–Only the fire department (career, volunteer and/or combination) may be a claimant.

WHEN–Claimants have only 90 days after the fire in which to submit a claim. Claims submitted after 90 days will not be considered.

WHERE–Claims may be submitted only for the costs incurred for firefighting on federal property (government holds title). Rented government property does not qualify.

WHAT–Reimbursement is available for direct expenses and direct losses that constitute firefighting costs over and above normal operating costs. These costs include

–Loss of or damage to equipment and/or apparatus based on the depreciated, not replacement, value;

–fuel expended;

–repair costs; and

–overtime pay.

No reimbursement is available for costs related to

–employee deaths and injuries,

–depreciation,

–normal maintenance,

–ordinary salaries, and

–administrative activities.

HOW–The regulation indicates the following must be part of a complete claim:

–a fire report,

–proof of federal ownership, and

–information on mutual-aid agreements.

For more information, please contact Tim Ganley, USFA, at (301) 447-1358.

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