WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama signed an emergency disaster declaration Wednesday for the Washington state counties of Chelan and Okanogan as well as the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, which have been scorched by wildfires.
The declaration makes federal emergency aid available to supplement state and local response efforts in the area affected by wildfires.
The president’s action authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and to provide assistance for emergency measures to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety.
FEMA is authorized to provide equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
Obama said Tuesday the emergency declaration would ensure communities that lost power because of burned power lines and poles get electrical power.
At more than 250,000 acres, the Carlton Complex is larger than the 1902 Yacolt Burn, which consumed 238,920 acres in southwestern Washington and was the state’s largest recorded forest fire, according to HistoryLink.org, an online resource of Washington state history.
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