The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help the state of California fight the San Bruno Fire in San Mateo County.

This authorization makes FEMA funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire.  Eligible costs can include equipment and supplies (less insurance proceeds) and costs for emergency work such as evacuations and sheltering, police barricading and traffic control.

“Our hearts go out to the residents of San Bruno in the wake of this horrific fire.  I want to assure them and our local and state partners that FEMA is here to make sure that California has the resources needed to fight this fire, and that the federal government will remain with the state every step of the way,” said FEMA Region IX Administrator Nancy Ward.

Following a request from the state of California, FEMA Region IX approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) in less than one hour.

At the time of the request, the fire was threatening hundreds of homes in and around San Bruno with a population of 41,000.  Mandatory evacuations were issued for approximately 100 individuals.  The fire started on September 9, 2010 and has burned 15 acres of state and private land.

The President’s Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for federal fire management grants made    available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster.  Eligible firefighting costs, covered by the grant, must meet a minimum threshold for costs before delivery of assistance.  Eligible costs covered by the aid can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.