FEMA Authorizes Funds for Washington State Wildfires

Washington, D.C. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized federal funds for Washington State to help battle two uncontrolled multiple wildfires located in Okanogan County.

According to the agency, the state’s requests for federal fire suppression aid were approved this afternoon for the 3,000-acre Brewster Complex Fire that posed a threat to more than 60 homes in the subdivision of Harmony Heights and the town of Brewster, and the 20,000-acre Virginia Lakes Complex Fire that was endangering 50 rural residences and 15 farms.

In addition to these fires, funding was authorized by FEMA late last month for the Union Valley fire in Chelan County.

Under the authorizations, FEMA will pay 70 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs that are above $1,061,941. The figure, called a floor cost, is derived through a formula based on the state’s five-year annual average cost for fighting fires.

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 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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