FEMA funds authorized to help fight Elk Complex Fire
Photo: Image by inciweb.org
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Elk Complex Fire burning in Elmore County.
Elmore County and the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security requested the federal assistance due to the rapidly moving fire and the potential for its impact to the residences and public safety resources in the fire’s path.
The fire is actively threatening the towns of Pine, Featherville and Prairie as well as other residences in the area. Due to extreme fire behavior, area closures and evacuations have been issued by the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office and the Boise National Forest.
The Fire Management Assistance Grant authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of eligible fire suppression and evacuation costs. Without the FEMA funding those extraordinary costs would have created a significant financial burden for Elmore County. The assistance grants are only provided when fires have a high likelihood of causing damage to residences or infrastructure.
Elmore County commissioners enacted the local disaster declaration due to fire conditions throughout the county. In addition, Governor Otter issued a state disaster declaration. Fire Management Assistance Grants are only enacted in rare instances; this is the first declaration of its kind in Idaho this year.
“With the extreme fire conditions and continued red flag conditions, there is the potential for impacts to residences and businesses,” said Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security Director Col. Brad Richy. “The Bureau of Homeland Security stands ready to assist and we are appreciative of FEMA’s support as we work together to protect Idaho’s people, property and resources.”
The Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is the State of Idaho's emergency management agency, not to be confused with the federal Department of Homeland Security.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center the Elk Complex fire, along with the Pony Complex fire, is currently a top national priority.