Federal government denies aid for Arizona fire that killed 19 firefighters

DSC_7139The Yarnell Hill blaze killed 19 firefighters in late June, when it changed directions and engulfed them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied AZ’s request for assistance. It determined that not enough uninsured private individuals had become victims to warrant a payout. The agency also declined to issue a “major disaster declaration” for affected areas.

The decision rightfully drew the attention of Arizona’s senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake.

“We are disappointed that FEMA denied the Governor’s disaster declaration request for the Yarnell Hill Fire,”

“It is a shame that FEMA couldn’t find it within their mission to help rebuild their homes and lives.”

Governor Jan Brewer also responded

“I am deeply troubled by the Obama administration’s decision to deny much-needed recovery assistance in the wake of Arizona’s deadliest wildfire,”

President Barack Obama had initially pledged support but then backed down.

“With today’s denial of the state’s request, Arizonans are left questioning what help (the president and vice president) were willing to give,”

After the 19 Firefighters perished in the flames, FEMA finally issued a grant to AZ to help cover the costs of fighting the blaze.

The Yarnell Hill blaze devoured more than 8,000 acres of woodland, ravaged two communities, wiping out homes and other buildings.

Gov. Jan Brewer, Sen. Jeff Flake and Sen. John McCain said they want to appeal FEMA’s decision.



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