The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Milli Fire in Deschutes County.
FEMA Acting Regional Administrator Sharon Loper determined that the fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. Loper approved the state of Oregon’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant on Aug. 17, 2017 at 12:45 p.m. PDT.
The fire started on Aug. 11 and has burned in excess of 3,000 acres of federal and private land.
At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 650 homes in and around the community of Sisters. The fire was also threatening state highways, communications, gas and electric utilities, commercial businesses, wilderness area Pacific Crest Trail and campgrounds in the area. Voluntary evacuations were issued for approximately 1,625 people.
At the time of FMAG approval, the fire was zero percent contained. There are 13 other large fires burning uncontrolled within the state.
The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state of Oregon’s 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.