BOTHELL, Wash. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Mosier Creek Fire burning in Wasco County, approximately 70 miles northeast of Portland.
FEMA Region 10 Administrator Mike O’Hare determined that the fire threatened to cause such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. He approved the state of Oregon’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) at 11:49 p.m. PDT on Wednesday.
The fire started on Wednesday and had burned in an area exceeding 300 to 500 acres of private land at the time of the state’s request, with zero percent containment. As of Friday afternoon, Aug. 14, the fire was 10 percent contained.
Also at the time of the request, the fire was threatening 300 homes and critical communications infrastructure near the community of Mosier Creek. Mandatory and voluntary evacuations have been issued for approximately 415 homes.
FMAGs are provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and are 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.
In addition to reimbursement funding for fighting the fire, $629,681 in mitigation assistance will be available to Oregon. The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 authorizes FEMA to provide Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Post-Fire funds to eligible states and territories that receive Fire Management Assistance declarations and federally recognized tribes that have land burned within a designated area.
FEMA encourages HMGP Post-Fire funds be used for the mitigation of wildfire and related hazards, such as flood or erosion. However, HMGP is available for risk reduction of any hazard.