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Published On: Tue, Sep 25th, 2018

FEMA authorizes funds to help battle Utah mountain fires

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Bald Mountain Fire in Utah County, Utah.

FEMA Deputy Regional Administrator Nancy Dragani approved the State of Utah’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) after receiving the state’s request Friday evening.

At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 2600 homes in Utah County. Mandatory evacuations are taking place for approximately 6000 residents. The fire has destroyed the Santaquin and Elk Ridge Watersheds which support the local community. The fire started on August 24, 2018 and has burned in excess of 18,502 acres of federal, state, and private land. The fire is 18 percent contained.

photo/Saiho

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. These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.

Fire Management Assistance Grants are 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 items can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; mobilization and demobilization activities; and tools, materials and supplies.

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