FEMA Authorizes Funds for Easy Street Fire

Early in the morning of July 8, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds to help the state of Washington fight the Easy Street Fire burning north of Wenatchee, near the Eagle Rock Subdivision in the Warm Springs Canyon area. 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.

FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison said that the state's request for federal fire management assistance was approved after it was confirmed that the fire had grown to more than 250 acres in size, threatening over 300 primary residences, and resulting in the evacuation of between 250 and 270 people. The fire began Saturday, July 7, near Wenatchee's Warms Springs Canyon, a mile west of the intersection of Easy Street and American Fruit Road. The state requested federal aid for the fire on Sunday, July 8, 2007 at 1:00 a.m. PDT, and received approval at 5:56 a.m. PDT.

“This declaration is the first step toward enabling the state and local governments to apply for financial help,” said Paulison. “We are committed to getting our firefighters the funds they need to extinguish dangerous fires that threaten lives and property.”

Federal fire management assistance is 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 state firefighting costs covered by the aid must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided. Eligible 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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