FEMA authorizes federal funds to battle Georgia wildfires

Grant funding available to reimburse 75% of firefighting costs

(Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge)

ATLANTA, Ga. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized federal funds to reimburse costs to Georgia to fight the West Mims Fire in Charlton County.

This authorization makes FEMA grant funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire. Eligible costs can include labor, equipment and supplies used for fighting the fire and costs for emergency work such as evacuations and sheltering, police barricading and traffic control.

“FEMA recognizes all the hard work put in by fire fighters and emergency response workers in extremely difficult circumstances,” said FEMA Region IV Administrator Gracia B. Szczech. “These funds will assist Georgia with costs associated with fighting the fire and help protect lives and property.”

The blaze started April 6, and over 140,000 acres have been affected. Currently, more than 250 residences are threatened and more than 1,000 residents have been evacuated.

Federal fire management assistance is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to fight fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders 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.