OAKLAND, Calif. September 5, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to assist the State of California to combat the Mission Fire burning in Madera County.

On September 4, 2017, the State of California submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Declaration for the Mission Fire. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 250 residences in and around the communities of Cascadel and North Fork. The fire also was threatening seven businesses, multiple power lines and a drinking water reservoir. It was zero percent contained at that time.

Mandatory evacuations are taking place for approximately 2,500 people, with the potential for further evacuations. The fire, which started on September 3, 2017, has now burned in excess of 750 acres of state and private land. There are 18 other large fires currently burning in the state.

The Regional Administrator determined the Mission Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. The State’s request was approved the day it was received.

Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs) provide federal funding for up to 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. The Disaster Relief Fund provides funding for FMAGs through FEMA to assist in fighting fires which threaten to cause major disasters. Eligible costs covered by FMAGs can include expenses for field camps; equipment use; materials; supplies and mobilization; and demobilization activities attributed to fighting the fire.