Gov. Jan Brewer asked President Barack Obama Tuesday to declare a federal disaster in the wake of the Yarnell Hill Fire, said a press release from the governor's office.
The press release explained that the declaration would be paired up with an individual assistance program, allowing residents who lost their homesd or whose homes were damaged to receive funds for housing and "necessary expenses and serious needs" not covered by insurance.
“The Yarnell Hill Fire has taken so much from the people of Yavapai County and the state of Arizona,” Brewer was quoted as saying. “We can never bring back the lives lost to this devastating fire, but a federal major disaster declaration is one way we can help the citizens of Yarnell and Peeples Valley begin to pick up the pieces and put their communities back together.”
The Associated Press has reported that 129 homes and structures were destroyed by the blaze.
Federal disaster designations are based upon the estimates of local damages. If the governor's request is approved, it would bring long-term federal recovery programs to Yavapai County, assisting survivors and businesses with recovering uninsured losses, the press release explained.
Brewer is also seeking a physical disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This would allow for residents, who lost their homes in the fire, to become eligible to apply for loans totaling up to $200,000 each to repair or replace their damaged property, the press release said.
Renters would qualify for loans up to $40,000. The state hasn't requested aid for local businesses, as yet.