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Governor Perdue Announces Additional $4.1 Million in Reimbursements for Fight Against Sweat Farm Road Fire

Tuesday, September 4, 2007  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774



ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a $4.1 million reimbursement to Georgia as a result of an April Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) to help the state fight the Sweat Farm Road Fire.  This is FEMA’s second multi-million dollar grant in connection with this blaze. The earlier grant totaled $6.1 million in federal funds.

“I am encouraged by the additional funds that we are receiving to manage the awful affects of such a powerful disaster,” said Governor Perdue. “I hope these grants give a much-needed boost as we work to repair and rebuild what was lost during the devastating fires.”

The Sweat Farm Road blaze broke out on April 16, 2007, in Ware County. By the time it was contained about two months later, it had blackened more than 80,000 acres, destroyed five homes and threatened 800 homes and businesses in the city of Waycross and Charlton County. 2,100 people were evacuated due to the fires.

“Georgia’s response in fighting the Sweat Farm fires was timely, aggressive and comprehensive,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Phil May. “FEMA was able to quickly approve the fire management grant to fund the response firefighting costs. We are pleased to provide this second reimbursement to state of Georgia.”

The latest grant is based on an initial $5.6 million in costs incurred by other states whose assets were used to help Georgia fight this fire through the Southeastern Fire Compact and other mutual aid agreements. FEMA’s share will be used by the Georgia Forestry Commission to reimburse those states. Under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act’s FMAG program, FEMA reimburses states for 75 percent of their approved firefighting costs such as equipment, materials, labor, food and lodging.

A total of 11 FMAGs, five to Georgia and six to Florida, were issued in Region IV between March 26 and May 31.