FEMA denies appeal for wildfire victim funding - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

FEMA denies appeal for wildfire victim funding

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Aid work continues in Okanogan County despite lack of federal help Aid work continues in Okanogan County despite lack of federal help
OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. -

Washington Governor Jay Inslee was informed Tuesday that The Federal Emergency Management Agency known as FEMA denied the state's appeal for individual funding for fire victims. 

On September 10th, Governor Inslee appealed FEMA's decision to deny individual federal relief funds. In a letter to the Governor, FEMA stated the damage and impact was not severe enough for individual relief. FEMA did grant federal funding to Okanogan County for emergency management and to help fix public facilities damaged by the Carlton Complex fire. 

The fire burned more than 255,000 acres and grew to be Washington's largest wildfire ever.

Representatives with the Washington state emergency management office say that individual FEMA disaster funding is only available to those who don't have insurance. Mark Stewart tells KHQ that most of the people who suffered losses were insured. 

KHQ's Dylan Wohlenhaus spoke with people affected by the fire in Okanogan County after the denial. 

Deb Stennes works as a volunteer at the fire relief center in Pateros. She says, "a lot of people feel forgotten. I'm seeing a lot of despair and a lot of anger." Stennes says the center serves anywhere from 30-100 people per day still in need of supplies.

Heather Carrington who also works at the center says that the denial of the appeal was the topic of conversation in Pateros Wednesday morning. "That's what we were all talking about." Carrington says. "We can't sit here and dwell on it. We have to move on because too many people need to much help still."

Officials with the state emergency management office say the office is working with the county and the Governor to find other means of funding for folks affected by the fire, mainly for those who did not have insurance.

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