Otter issues disaster declaration for Bonneville County

Idaho Falls

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The Henry’s Creek Fire. | Courtesy photo

The following is a news release from the Idaho Office of Emergency Management issued Thursday.

BOISE – Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed a disaster declaration today for Bonneville County in response to the Henry’s Creek Fire burning north of Idaho Falls, which has consumed more than 57,000 acres. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also approved the state’s request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) declaration for the fire.

“A fire of this scope and severity has not happened in eastern Idaho in most people’s memory,” said Otter. “There are vast scenic and recreational areas in jeopardy because of this fire and we are committed to doing whatever it takes to preserve and protect the region’s valuable resources.”

At the time of the request, the fire threatened 785 homes in and around the Cities of Irwin and Swan Valley and the community of Palisades, total population 2,000. Approximately 471 of the threatened homes are primary residences and 314 are secondary homes. The fire continues to threaten the Blacktail Recreational Area, BP Energy lines, the Palisades Dam, and sensitive wildlife habitat in the area. Voluntary evacuations were issued for approximately 120 people.

The fire started on August 21, 2016.

The FMAG authorization makes funding available to pay 75 percent of eligible firefighting costs. This includes managing, mitigating, and controlling designated fires. These grants do not provide assistance to individual homeowners or business owners and do not cover other infrastructure damage caused by the fire. The grants only provide reimbursement for firefighting and life-saving efforts.

For more information on fire activity in the state of Idaho please visit www.idahofireinfo.com.

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