BOTHELL, Wash. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Pike Road Fire in Tillamook County and the Slater Fire in Josephine County, Oregon.

FEMA Region 10 Administrator Mike O’Hare determined that the fires threatened to cause such destruction as would constitute a major disaster, and on Thursday he approved the state of Oregon’s requests for federal Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG).

The Pike Road Fire started on Tuesday, burning in excess of 220 acres of state and private land. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening over 1,355 homes in and around the communities of Bay City, Hobsonville and Idaville. Immediate threats are to Bay City, as well as the local water supply and watersheds in the surrounding hills.

The Slater Fire started in California and crossed into Oregon on Wednesday, burning over 135,000 acres of federal and private land. At the time of the request, the fire threatening homes in and around the communities of Cave Junction, O’Brien and Kerby. The fire also threatened the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve, timber and national forest lands.

The number of FMAGs approved for the state of Oregon now totals 13, most of them approved this week.

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, $1,259,362 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.

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