The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the state of California combat the Rim Fire currently burning in Tuolumne County.
On Aug. 23, the State of California submitted a request for a fire management assistance declaration for the Rim Fire burning in Tuolumne County. The authorization makes FEMA funding available to reimburse up to 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire.
At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 2,434 homes in and around the communities of Buck Meadows, Groveland, Me-wuk Village, Pine Mountain Lake, Ponderosa Hills, Tuolumne City, Twain Harte, and Yosemite Vista, combined population 9,697. Approximately 1,947 of the threatened homes are primary residences and 487 are secondary homes. The fire was also threatening 2,494 buildings, the Hetch-Hetchy Reservoir, power lines, and multiple watersheds in the area. Mandatory evacuations were issued for approximately 1,050 people, and voluntary evacuations were issued for 2,846 people. The fire started on Aug. 17 and had burned in excess of 105,620 acres of federal, state, and private land.
The President’s Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for federal fire management grants made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible costs covered by the grant can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.