President Barack Obama has responded to Governor Jay Inslee’s request for federal assistance and put his signature to an order authorizing federal resources to help state and local officials fight out-of-control wildfires raging on the Columbia Plateau.
From the White House:
The President today declared an emergency exists in the State of Washington and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts in the areas affected by wildfires beginning on August 13, 2015, and continuing.
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Asotin, Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Klickitat, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Spokane, Stevens, and Yakima and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Nation.
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.
W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Benigno Bern Ruiz as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.
Thank you, Mr. President!