FEMA grants support for Wyoming’s Happy Jack Fire

March 6, 2024

FEMA’s response to the Happy Jack Fire

FEMA has authorized federal funds to assist in the firefighting efforts for the Happy Jack Fire in Laramie County, Wyoming, close to Cheyenne.

Announced on March 1, 2024, this decision was made by FEMA Region 8 Administrator Nancy Dragani.

The state’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) was swiftly approved following its submission earlier the same day.

Dragani determined the fire posed a significant threat of destruction, potentially escalating to a major disaster.

As of the grant request, the Happy Jack Fire had consumed over 4,000 acres.

It was threatening residential areas in and around Cheyenne, including approximately 50 homes under mandatory evacuation.

The fire also posed a risk to 380 structures encompassing buildings, infrastructure, utilities, equipment, and a watershed.

Details of the Fire Management Assistance Grant

The FMAG authorization facilitates FEMA funding to cover 75 percent of the state’s eligible firefighting costs.

These funds are applicable for managing, mitigating, and controlling designated fires.

It is important to note that FMAGs do not provide assistance to individual homeowners or businesses and do not extend to other infrastructure damages caused by the fire.

Fire Management Assistance Grants are sourced from the President’s Disaster Relief Fund.

These grants are available through FEMA to support the battle against fires that have the potential to escalate into major disasters.

Covered expenses include field camps, equipment use, repair and replacement, as well as mobilization and demobilization activities, along with tools, materials, and supplies.

Additional funding and resources

With the FMAG in place, additional funding becomes accessible through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Post Fire.

This funding aims to mitigate wildfire-related hazards, such as post-fire flooding or erosion.

Some eligible projects under this program include defensible space measures, ignition-resistant construction, and hazardous fuels reduction.

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