Jun 26, 2012

No.: R8-12-0014, FEMA Region VIII News Desk, (303) 235-4908 

News Release

DENVER -- 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 Waldo Fire in El Paso County and the Weber Fire in Montezuma County.

“Fighting wildfires can be very costly,” said FEMA Region 8 Administrator Robin Finegan. “FEMA doesn’t actually fight the fires, but we can help firefighters and other first responders with the financial resources they need to do their job.”

At the time of the state’s request for the Waldo Fire, the fire was threatening 250 homes in and around Manitou Springs, Cedar Creek, Carroll Canyon, Green Mountain Falls and Cascade, with a population of more 8,000.  The fire was also threatening watershed, flood control structures, the United States Air Force Academy, utilities and communicationsequipment in the area. 

At the time of the request for the Weber Fire,the fire was threatening 105 homes in and around Elk Stream Ranch, Cherry Creek and Mancos.  The fire is also threatening buildings, communication towers, utilities, equipment and an area watershed.

The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire. These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.

On June 6, FEMA approved an FMAG for the High Park Fire in Larimer County.

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.

“We continue to urge residents to heed the advice of local officials and have an emergency plan in the place,” Finegan added.

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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.