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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cal EMA News Blog

Cal EMA News Blog

Governor Brown and Cal EMA Secure Federal Assistance for Keene Complex Fire

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 10:06 AM PDT

As firefighters continue to battle a fire burning near the community of Keene,Tehachapi in Kern County, where 500 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 Keene Complex Fire.
Currently, three (3) communities of approximately 15,500 people may be threatened in the next 12 hour period. The communities are Bear Valley, Hart Flat and Keene.

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 Keene Complex Fire has burned more than 6,200 acres; firefighters have begun to make progress on containment.

“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 Keene Complex Fire.”
Two Cal FIRE Incident Command Teams have been activated and are working in Unified Command with Kern County to control fire activity.
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.


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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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