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FEMA authorizes federal funds to fight Darlene 3 fire near La Pine, citing 'threat of destruction'

BOTHELL, Wash. (KTVZ) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help cover the costs of fighting the Darlene 3 Fire burning in Deschutes County, in Oregon.

The State of Oregon's application for a Federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) was approved by FEMA Region 10 Administrator Willie G. Nunn Tuesday at 8:59 p.m. (Pacific Time). He determined that the Darlene 3 fire threatened to cause destruction that would constitute a major disaster. This is the first FMAG declared in 2024 to help fight wildfires in Oregon.

At the time of the state's request, the fire was threatening homes in and around the communities of La Pine and Newberry Estates. The fire also threatened Oregon Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service communications towers, the La Pine drinking water well site, private communications and power lines, land camping and recreational trails.

FMAGs are provided through the Presidential Disaster Relief Fund and are made available by FEMA to help fight fires that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible items may include expenses related to field camps; use, repair and replacement of equipment; mobilization and demobilization activities; and tools, equipment and supplies.

This authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the State's eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for designated fire management, mitigation and control. These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.

In addition to the firefighting funds authorized under this FMAG, an additional $985,111 will be available to Oregon through the Post-Fire Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for mitigation of future wildfires and related risks, such as post-fire flooding or erosion.

Some types of eligible wildfire projects include defensible spatial measures, ignition-resistant construction, and hazardous fuel reduction.

The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 authorizes FEMA to provide HMGP post-fire funds to eligible states and territories that receive Fire Management Assistance Declarations and to federally recognized tribes that have burned lands in a designated area.

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Follow FEMA Region 10 on X and LinkedIn for the latest updates and visit FEMA.gov for more information.

FEMA's mission is to help people before, during and after disasters.

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