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 Sand Fire burning in Los Angeles County.
On July 23, the State of California submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) for the Sand Fire. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 3,021 primary homes in and around the communities of Aqua Dulce, Lancaster, Pacoima, Placerita, Sand Canyon, and Sylmar, with a total population of 45,000. Mandatory evacuations were issued for approximately 500 people.
The fire started on July 22 and had burned in excess of 11,000 acres of federal, state, county, and private land. The Regional Administrator, FEMA Region IX, determined that the Sand Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. The state’s request was approved July 23.
Fire Management Assistance Grants provide federal funding for up to 75% of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires which threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps; equipment use; repair and replacement; tools; materials; supplies and mobilization; and demobilization activities.