FEMA: Federal funds authorized to Georgia for wildfires

Crews battling at least a dozen wildfires

ATLANTA, Ga.--The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized federal funds to reimburse costs to Georgia to fight the Tatum Gulf Fire burning in Dade County.

According to a FEMA release, 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 has approved this request to make sure Georgia has the resources it needs to battle this fire,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech. “We will continue to work closely with the frontline responders who are fighting this wildfire.”

The state of Georgia requested a Fire Management Assistance Grant and it was granted on Nov. 13, 2016. The fire started on Nov. 11, and at the time of the request, had burned more than 250 acres of state and private land. The fire was threatening 150 homes in and around Trenton and the Rising Fawn community.

In addition, the fire is threatening utility lines, a communications tower, roads, and cultural resources. Currently, mandatory evacuations are taking place for approximately 200 people (60 homes) and evacuations are expected to continue, according to the release.  

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

PHOTOS: Wildfire battled in several Georgia counties


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