FEMA authorizes federal funding after wildfire burns near Redmond Airport

Courtesy City of Redmond Facebook

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the 419 Fire burning near Redmond.

FEMA Region 10 Acting Regional Administrator Vincent Maykovich determined the fire threatened to cause such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.

He approved the State of Oregon’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant, the first FMAG declared in 2021 to help fight Oregon wildfires.

At the time of the State’s request, the fire was threatening homes in and around the city of Redmond.

The fire also threatened the Redmond Municipal Airport, Central Oregon Community College, as well as local businesses, railroads, and transmission lines in the area.

“We had a couple of flights this morning that may have had a residual delay or cancellation based on those aircrafts not being able to arrive into Redmond,” said Airport Security Manager Jayde Davis. “Everything is back open and running today normally.”

“Our intention is to reopen our campus tomorrow,” said Director of Marketing for COCC Jenn Kovitz. “You know staying closed for an extra day today was just extra precaution.”

On Wednesday, officials said Fires 419 & 422 were 100% contained.

“The concern that I have is we have is if get wind, and we have weather coming into today, if we get wind on one of these conditions, it could likely pick it up and carry it and we likely off to the races again and that would be a real problem, for us,” said Redmond Fire and Rescue Fire Chief Ken Kehmna. “We need to make sure we are checking every single tree, every single snag, we are kicking every single stump, turning over over every rock and looking for every little ash pot out there.”

The Level 2 evacuation will remain in effect due to potential hot spots and the forecasted hot and windy weather.

Crews will remain on-site continuing mop-up work and watching for any changes.

The combined fire burned about 90 acres, no structures were damaged.

The State of Oregon continues to experience extreme heat conditions and has burn bans and red flag warnings in place.

The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75% of the State’s eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for managing, mitigating, and controlling designated fires.

These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.


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