CEDAR CITY — As the Mammoth Fire has grown to 699 acres with 0% containment, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized the use of federal funds to help fight the growing blaze.
Dixie National Forest Public Affairs Officer Kevin Abel told Cedar City News that as of Monday morning, wildland firefighter crews were still working to protect the wildland urban interface of Mammoth Creek Village.
“We were able to protect structures successfully in Mammoth Creek Village using crews, engines and dozers with support from air tankers and helicopters,” Abel said.
According to a press release from FEMA, the regional administrator in Denver, Colorado, approved Utah’s request for a federal Fire Management Assistance Grant on Saturday. The grant will pay up to 75% of the state’s eligible costs for managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires.
These grants do not provide assistance to individual home or business owners, the press release said, and they do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire.
After receiving the request on Saturday, the regional administrator determined that the fire “threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster,” the press release stated.
At the time of the request, the Mammoth Fire was threatening 280 homes in and around Panguitch. The fire was also threatening several buildings, infrastructure, utilities, equipment and the Severe River watershed.
The fire is still burning through ponderosa pine and Douglas fir to the southeast. Most of Southern Utah is experiencing red flag conditions, which are expected to continue through Tuesday, with wind gusts of 20 mph expected Monday.
“That makes it really difficult,” Abel said. “The fire can change moment to moment with conditions like this.”
Some structures are threatened, but as of publication of this article, Abel said none have burned. Fire managers request the public’s assistance by avoiding the area to allow fire resources to access the fire.
As of Monday morning, there were 20 engines, two large air tankers, four helicopters and three hotshot crews, among various other resources, battling the blaze.
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