Governor Otter signs disaster declaration for Bonneville County

Posted at 5:35 PM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-25 19:35:40-04

Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed a disaster declaration today for Bonneville County due to the Henry's Creek Fire burning north of Idaho Falls.  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 peoples’ memory,” said Governor 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.”

When Governor Otter submitted the request, the fire threatened 785 homes in and around the Cities of Irwin and Swan Valley and the community of Palisades, leading to voluntary evacuations for about 120 people.  

The FMAG authorization makes funding available to pay 75% of eligible firefighting costs. This includes managing, mitigating, and controlling designated fires. These grants do not provide assistance to individual homeowners or business owners. The funding will also provide reimbursement for firefighting and life-saving efforts.

The Henry's Creek Fire started on August 21, 2016.  As of Thursday afternoon, it has consumed more than 57,000 acres.