Denver, CO - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced that last night the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorized the use of federal funds to communities to fight the Junkins Fire in Custer and Pueblo Counties. This authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state's eligible firefighting costs under the federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) program. FEMA received the request for federal FMAG funding Monday evening.
"Today, our thoughts are with all of the firefighters and first responders working to protect people and property and with the families that have tragically lost their homes," Bennet said. "More than 150 families have now been evacuated as the Junkins Fire continues to burn. These additional federal funds will help ensure that crews have the resources they need to combat this fire effectively and safely. We will continue to communicate with officials on the ground and to support the local affected communities in any way possible."
The Junkins Fire started early Monday morning and warm, dry, and windy conditions caused the fire to grow quickly. It has expanded from Custer County into Pueblo County burning more than 15,000 acres and forcing 156 families to evacuate. An additional 147 families are on pre-evacuation notice.
The FMAG Program provides federal funding to states, local governments, and tribes for firefighting and emergency protective measures for significant wildfires.