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Monday, September 5, 2011

Cal EMA News Blog

Cal EMA News Blog

Governor Brown and Cal EMA Secure Federal Assistance for Canyon Fire

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 04:04 PM PDT

As firefighters continue to battle a fire burning near Tehachapi in Kern County, where 800 homes and structures are threatened, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has directed the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) to assist local and state efforts. Under the Governor’s direction, Cal EMA successfully applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for financial assistance to offset the state and local costs of fighting the Canyon Fire.

Earlier today, FEMA notified the Brown Administration that Cal EMA's application for the Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) was approved. These funds will go directly to firefighting efforts. The Canyon Fire has burned more than 4,700 acres and is approximately 5 percent contained at this time.

"These funds are critical to providing our local and state firefighters with sufficient resources to fight this fire," Cal EMA Secretary Mike Dayton said. "We are doing everything we can to assist the fire-affected areas and the firefighters who are bravely fighting this fire. I am pleased our federal partners understand the magnitude of the Canyon Fire."

With the FMAG, the federal government provides a 75 percent federal cost-share reimbursement, through the President's Disaster Relief Fund, to California for costs incurred in firefighting activities. The other 25 percent of firefighting costs is left to the local jurisdiction.

The FMAG is available to state, local and tribal governments. The reimbursed costs must be a result of fire disaster declared by the Governor and performed within the designated fire area using resources requested by incident commanders. Reimbursements can include supplies, labor, travel, repairs, administrative costs and mobilizations/demobilizations.

Kern County and Cal EMA's Inland Region have activated their Emergency Operation Centers.


Acting Secretary Mike Dayton Issues Statement Regarding Death of Deputy Fire Chief Mark Cooper

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 10:03 AM PDT

Acting Secretary Mike Dayton today issued the following statement regarding the death of Deputy Fire Chief Mark Cooper of the California Emergency Management Agency Fire & Rescue Branch:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of this loss in our Cal EMA family. Mark dedicated his life to ensuring the safety of all California residents, and his honorable service will forever be remembered. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Deputy Fire Chief Mark Cooper, 59, died Monday, September 5, 2011 at 8:12 a.m. after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Carmichael, CA. He is survived by wife Marcia, mother Doris and loving family and friends.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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