President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration this morning that offers federal aid to Central Washington areas hard hit by wildfires.
It authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate relief efforts in Chelan and Okanogan counties and on the Colville Reservation. Obama had promised action Tuesday in Seattle after receiving a briefing on the fires from Gov. Jay Inslee.
Full text of the White House announcement can be found inside the blog.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2014
President Obama Signs Washington Emergency Declaration
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 area affected by wildfires beginning on July 9, 2014, 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 Chelan and Okanogan and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.
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 Michael J. Hall as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.