Federal funding approved to help battle west-central Idaho fire

By The Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 31, 2015 at 6:21 p.m.



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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the west-central Idaho wildfire that has jumped the Salmon River and forced evacuations around Riggins.

FEMA officials said in a news release that they determined the fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.

The authorization makes FEMA funding available to pay 75 percent of the state of Idaho's eligible firefighting costs.

Authorities say the fire burning in timber is up to 122 square miles and threatening both rural areas and small towns.

Federal authorities closed nearly all of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Food and supplies are being set up at a spot on the Salmon River in case rafters are held up by fires.

In northern Idaho, an evacuation has been ordered near the town of Lowell due to a 16-square-mile fire burning on the north side of the Selway River.

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The Associated Press

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