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 East Peak Fire in Huerfano County.
FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Doug Gore approved the state's request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) immediately upon receiving the state's request. At the time of the approval, the fire was threatening 250 homes in and around the town of La Veta and Walsenburg and various rural subdivisions and ranches. The fire has destroyed nine structures and four outbuildings on Boy Scout Ranch near Walsenburg, CO and it is threatening the Spanish Peak Hospital and dozens of commercial structures to include infrastructure, utilities, equipment and watersheds in the 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. 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.
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.
Information from FEMA Region VIII External Affairs Office.