OAKLAND — 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 to combat the Holy Fire burning in Riverside County.
On August 9, 2018, the State of California submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Declaration for the Holy Fire. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 7,052 homes in and around the community of Lake Elsinore. The fire was also threatening 150 buildings, infrastructure, utilities, and watershed. Mandatory evacuations are taking place for approximately 6,600 people.
The fire started on August 6, 2018, and has burned in excess of 916 acres of state and private land. The fire is currently five percent contained. There are eight other large fires burning uncontrolled within the state.
The FEMA Regional Administrator determined the Holy Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. The state’s request was approved on August 9, 2018, at 1:24 PM PDT.
Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs) provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps, equipment use, materials, supplies and mobilization, and demobilization activities attributed to fighting the fire.