Press Releases

Washington, DC – The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection was awarded a $5.6 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today for firefighting costs stemming from the Bear Fire, which ravaged communities in Shasta County and Trinity National Forest in August 2004, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced.

“The Bear Fire devastated parts of ShastaCounty in 2004, and residents of these communities are still trying to put their lives back together,” Senator Feinstein said. “These funds will reimburse the firefighters who battled this blaze and ensure that critical resources are available to protect our communities.”

The Bear Fire burned for almost a week, igniting nearly 11,000 acres in total and threatening homes in Holiday Acres, Seamen Gulch, and Jones Valley. The fire destroyed more than 80 homes and 30 outbuildings.

The blaze began on August 11, 2004 by and spread quickly due to the combination hot weather, low humidity, and dry brush. More than 1,800 firefighters and support crews battled the fire, and over 300 residents were evacuated from their homes before the blaze was finally contained.

The $5.6 million came from FEMA’s Fire Management Assistance Grant Program, a program dedicated to assisting local fire departments in dealing with major wildfires. The program reimburses 75 percent of the costs stemming from fighting wildfires including: expenses for field camps; equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and supplies; and mobilization and demobilization activities.