WASHINGTON -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday that it plans to reimburse Georgia for about 75 percent of the cost of fighting the wildfire that has charred more than 140,000 acres in a Southeast portion of the state along the Florida border.
FEMA said it would make grant funding available to reimburse three-quarters of the "eligible firefighting costs" for managing and mitigating the natural disaster. Eligible costs including equipment and supplies to fight the fire and emergency work such as evacuations and traffic control.
“FEMA recognizes all the hard work put in by fire fighters and emergency response workers in extremely difficult circumstances,” FEMA Region IV Administrator Gracia Szczech said in a statement. “These funds will assist Georgia with costs associated with fighting the fire and help protect lives and property.”
Multiple areas in South Georgia have been under mandatory evacuation as the wildfire approached communities on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp yesterday.
Sparked by an April 6 lightning strike inside the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, the West Mims Fire covered more than 140,000 acres as of Tuesday morning. Strong winds over the weekend pushed the blaze closer to communities situated near the Georgia-Florida border.