The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Poison Fire and the Peavine Fire burning in Chelan County.
In response to the state's request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Poison Fire, FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Sharon Loper approved the request on September 12, at 8:00 PM PDT. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 197 primary residences. Shelters have been set up in Chelan and Wenatchee.
In response to the state's request for an FMAG for the Peavine Fire, FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Sharon Loper approved the request on September 13, at 12:15 AM PDT. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 120 residences (114 primary residences) in subdivisions southeast of the city of Wenatchee. Approximately 360 people had evacuated the area.
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of Washington eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires. These grants provide reimbursement for firefighting and life-saving efforts. They do not provide assistance to individuals, homeowners 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.
The addition of the Poison Fire and Peavine Fires, brings the total to six FMAGs approved in the past seven days. The other FMAGs were for the Highway 141 Fire, the 1st Canyons Fire, the Barker Canyon Fire and the Byrd Canyon Fire.
Update on Barker Canyon Fire FMAG:
The state also submitted an FMAG request for the Leahy Junction Fire, which is being managed by the same Incident Commander as the Barker Canyon Fire in Douglas County. The State requested FEMA recognize the merger of these two fires as the Barker Canyon Fire Complex under the Barker Canyon FMAG. The declaration will be revised to be renamed as the Barker Canyon Fire Complex.
FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Sharon Loper approved the request on September 12, at 10:41 PM PDT. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 50 primary residences with three primary residences already destroyed. Approximately 150 people have been evacuated for both fires. The Leahy fire has burned 78,000 acres and has merged with the Barker Canyon Fire of over 96,000 acres. Critical power generation facilities are also threatened. Approximately, 90% of the power in the Pacific Northwest is distributed through this system.