The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Tuesday denied the state of Washington’s appeal seeking individual aid for the people impacted by the Carlton complex wildfire.
The fire was the largest in the state’s recorded history and destroyed at least 340 homes in Central Washington, more than two-thirds of which were considered primary residences.
But the fire, “was not of the severity and magnitude to warrant the designation of Individual Assistance,” according to a letter from FEMA received Tuesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.
In prepared remarks, Inslee called the decision unfortunate.
“The fires impacted low-income communities that have very little housing available for families who suffered devastating losses when their homes and possessions burned,” he said in a statement. “Nevertheless, the state will stay involved with the affected communities and do our best to help them recover.”
The aid, among other things, would have provided rental assistance to those who lost homes, as well as unemployment insurance, crisis counseling and grants to help replace possessions.
FEMA first denied the individual-aid request in mid-August, shortly after it approved another part of the state’s emergency request that will provide money to rebuild roads, utility poles and other infrastructure.