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For Immediate Release
Federal Emergency Management Agency
October 29, 2003

FEMA Engaged in Significant Response and Recovery Activity for California Wildfires

Following President Bush's disaster declaration for the wildfires burning in California, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has begun significant federal response and recovery activity to assist the state, impacted local communities and individual Californians. FEMA also continues to help California with costs associated with fighting both recent and new wildfires.

Last night after returning from a trip to California to view fire damage, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Michael D. Brown, approved a Fire Management Assistance Grant for the Whitmore fire in Shasta County - the ninth such grant for the state just in the last week. This grant allows the federal government to reimburse California for up to 75 percent of the cost of fighting this fire. Eligible costs can include expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.

Today, the following federal response and recovery activities will be coordinated by FEMA:

On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.

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