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 Sobranes Fire burning in Monterey County.
On July 28, 2016, the State of California submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) declaration for the Sobranes Fire. At the time of the request, the fire was threatening 350 homes in and around the communities of Big Sur, Carmel Highlands, Carmel Valley, and Palo Colorado, with a total population of 3,000. Approximately 298 of the threatened homes are primary residences and 52 are secondary homes. Mandatory evacuations were issued for approximately 600 people. The fire was 10 percent contained.
The fire started on July 22 and had burned in excess of 27,326 acres of federal, state, and private land. The Regional Administrator, FEMA Region IX determined that the Sobranes Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster. The state’s request was approved on July 28, 2016 at 5:38 p.m. PDT.
Fire Management Assistance Grants provide federal funding for up to 75% 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; repair and replacement; tools; materials; supplies and mobilization; and demobilization activities.