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CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
DMA 2000 Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000
EMAC Emergency Management Assistance Compact
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
FMAGP Fire Management Assistance Grant Program
GAR Governor’s Authorized Representative
ICARS Incident Cost Accounting and Reporting System
ICS Incident Command System
IG Inspector General
KBDI Keetch-Byram Drought Index
NFDRS National Fire Danger Rating System
NIC NIMS Integration Center
NIMS National Incident Management System
OMB Office of Management and Budget
PL Public Law
PW Project Worksheet
RFMAS Request for Fire Management Assistance Subgrant
SMP State Mitigation Plan
USFS U.S. Forest Service

Agency: Any Federal, state, or county government organization participating with jurisdictional responsibilities.

Applicant: A State or Indian tribal government submitting an application to us for a fire management assistance grant, or a State, local, or Indian tribal government submitting an application to the Grantee for a subgrant under an approved fire management assistance grant.

Brush Fire: A fire burning in vegetation that is predominantly shrubs, brush and scrub growth.

Cognizant Agency: The Federal department or agency responsible for negotiating indirect cost rates.

Contain a Fire: A fuel break around the fire has been completed. This break may include natural barriers such as a river or road, and/or fireline built by hand, and/or fireline constructed mechanically.

Control a Fire: To complete the control line around a fire, any spot fires there from, and any interior island to be saved, burn out any unburned areas adjacent to the fire side of the control line, and cool down all hot spots that are immediate threats to the control line. When the line can reasonably be expected to hold under foreseeable conditions, the fire is considered controlled.

Controlled Burning: Fire used for land management purposes (e.g., range improvement) for which advance preparations are limited to installing control lines around the perimeter and sometimes crushing the vegetation to get a hotter fire. The only weather factor usually considered is wind of such force as to make fire control difficult.

Declared fire: An uncontrolled fire or fire complex, threatening such destruction as would constitute a major disaster, which the Associate Director has approved in response to a State's request for a fire management assistance declaration and in accordance with the criteria listed in Sec. 204.21.

Demobilization: The process and procedures for deactivating, disassembling, and transporting back to their point of origin all resources that had been provided to respond to and support a declared fire.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS): The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a Cabinet department of the federal government of the United States that is concerned with protecting America's people from harm and its property from damage. This department was created primarily from a conglomeration of existing federal agencies in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Detection: The act or system of discovering and locating fires.

Dispatch: The implementation of a command decision to move a resource or resources from one place to another.

Donated Resources: In some disasters, individuals and organizations donate volunteer labor, equipment, and material. The Federal government is not required to credit the value of "in-kind" contributions toward cost share arrangements. However, FEMA has determined that the value of "in-kind" contributions by third parties may be credited toward the calculation of the non-Federal share for eligible emergency work following declared disasters.

Dozer: Any tracked vehicle with a front-mounted blade used for exposing mineral soil.

Drought Index: A number representing net effect of evaporation, transpiration, and precipitation in producing cumulative moisture depletion in deep duff or upper soil layers.

Emergency Work: That work which must be done immediately to save lives and to protect improved property, public health and safety, or to avert or lessen the threat of a major disaster. Emergency work frequently includes clearance and removal of debris and temporary restoration of essential public facilities and services. (Category B)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Founded in 1979, it is now a division of the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA is responsible for responding to, recovering from and mitigating against disasters. It consists of a national office in Washington, DC and ten regional offices.

FEMA Form 90-91: See Project Worksheet.

FEMA-State Agreement: The FEMA-State or FEMA-Tribal Agreement for FMAGP (“the Agreement”) is a legally binding document, similar to a contract, that outlines the understandings, commitments, and conditions under which funding is provided under fire management assistance declarations and all applicable laws and regulations.

Fire Behavior: The manner in which a fire reacts to the influences of fuel, weather and topography.

Firebreak: A natural or constructed barrier utilized to stop or check fires that may occur or to provide a control line from which to work. Sometimes called a fire lane.

Fire Complex: Two or more individual fires located in the same general area, which are assigned to a single Incident Commander. Governor's Authorized Representative (GAR). The person empowered by the Governor to execute, on behalf of the State, all necessary documents for fire management assistance, including the request for a fire management assistance declaration.

Fire Cost Threshold: A dollar amount calculated annually based on the Consumer Price Index and a state’s population. In order to be eligible for FMAGP funds, the costs of fire suppression must equal or exceed the individual or cumulative Fire Cost Threshold.

Fire Duty Officer: A person employed by FEMA who processes and receives all fire management assistance declarations. Person can be located in the Region or National Office. Will act as a point of contact between the State and FEMA as well as other areas within FEMA.

Firefighting Resources: All people and major items of equipment that can or potentially could be assigned to fires.

Fire Intensity: A general term relating to the heat energy released by a fire.

Fire Management Plan (FMP): A strategic plan that defines a program to manage wildland and prescribed fires and documents the Fire Management Program in the approved land use plan. The plan is supplemented by operational plans such as preparedness plans, preplanned dispatch plans, prescribed fire plans, and prevention plans.

Fire Management Assistance Declaration: The Fire Management Assistance declaration process operates on a real-time basis, under which a State submits a request for assistance to the FEMA Regional Director at the time a "threat of major disaster" exists. The entire process is accomplished on an expedited basis and a FEMA decision is rendered in a matter of hours.

Fire Management Assistance Grant Program: A disaster recovery program established under Section 420 of the Stafford Act. The program provides for the mitigation, management, and control of fires on publicly or privately owned forests or grasslands, which threaten such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.

Force Account: An applicant’s own labor forces and equipment.

Fuel Groups: A grouping of National Fire Danger Rating System (NFDRS), a national system used to calculate fire danger fuel models which are generally similar.

Governor’s Authorized Representative (GAR): The person empowered by the Governor to execute, on behalf of the State, all necessary documents for fire management assistance, including the request for a fire management assistance declaration.

Grant: An award of financial assistance by FEMA to an eligible Grantee. The grant award will be based on the projected amount of total eligible costs for which a State submits an application and that FEMA approves related to a declared fire.

Grantee: The Grantee is the government to which a grant is awarded which is accountable for the use of the funds provided. The Grantee is the entire legal entity even if only a particular component of the entity is designated in the grant award document. Generally, the State, as designated in the FEMA-State Agreement for the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program, is the Grantee. However, after a declaration, an Indian tribal government may choose to be a Grantee, or it may act as a subgrantee under the State. An Indian tribal government acting as Grantee will assume the responsibilities of a "state", as described in this Part, for the purpose of administering the grant.

Haines Index: An atmospheric index used to indicate the potential for wildfire growth by measuring the stability and dryness of the air over a fire.

Hazard Mitigation: Hazard Mitigation is defined as sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their effects. For fire hazards, this definition distinguishes actions that have a long-term impact from those that are more closely associated with preparedness for fires (fire suppression), and with short-term recovery from fires. The intent of hazard mitigation is to focus on actions that produce repetitive benefits over time, not on those actions that might be considered emergency planning or emergency services. The primary purpose of hazard mitigation is to ensure that fewer Americans and their communities are victims of natural disasters, such as wildfires.

Hazard Mitigation Plan: A plan to develop actions the State, local, or tribal government will take to reduce the risk to people and property from all hazards. The intent of hazard mitigation planning under the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program is to identify wildfire hazards and cost-effective mitigation alternatives that produce long-term benefits. We address mitigation of fire hazards as part of the State's comprehensive Hazard Mitigation Plan, described in 44 CFR part 206, subpart M.

Hazard Reduction: Any treatment of a hazard that reduces the threat of ignition and fire intensity or rate of spread.

Incident Commander: The ranking ranking “red card” official responsible for a declared fire. (“Red card” is the fire qualifications card issued to fire-rated persons showing their training needs and their qualifications to fill specified fire suppression and support positions on a fire or other incident.)

Incident Period: The time interval during which the declared fire occurs. The Regional Director, in consultation with the Governor's Authorized Representative and the Principal Advisor, will establish the incident period. Generally, costs must be directly related to or incurred during the incident period to be considered eligible.

Indian Tribal Government: An Indian tribal government is any Federally recognized governing body of an Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe under the Federally Recognized Tribe List Act of 1994, 25 U.S.C. 479a. This does not include Alaska Native corporations, the ownership of which is vested in private individuals.

Indirect Costs: Facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, often called overhead.

Individual Assistance: Supplementary Federal assistance provided under the Stafford Act to individuals and families adversely affected by a major disaster or an emergency. Such assistance may be provided directly by the Federal Government or through State or local governments or disaster relief organizations. For further information, see subparts D, E, and F of 44 CFR Part 206.

Keech Byram Drought Index (KBDI): Commonly-used drought index adapted for fire management applications, with a numerical range from 0 (no moisture deficiency) to 800 (maximum drought).

Lightning Activity Level (LAL): A number, on a scale of 1 to 6, that reflects frequency and character of cloud-to-ground lightning. The scale is exponential, based on powers of 2 (i.e., LAL 3 indicates twice the lightning of LAL 2).

Local Government: Any county, municipality, city, town, township, public authority, school district, special district, intrastate district, council of governments (regardless of whether the council of governments is incorporated as a non-profit corporation under State law), regional or interstate government entity, or agency or instrumentality of a local government; any Indian Tribal government or authorized Tribal organization, or Alaska Native village or organization; and any rural community, unincorporated town or village, or other public entity, for which an application for assistance is made by a State or political subdivision of a State.

Mitigation, Management, and Control: Those activities undertaken, generally during the incident period of a declared fire, to minimize immediate adverse effects and to manage and control the fire. Eligible activities may include associated emergency work and pre-positioning directly related to the declared fire.

Mobilization: The process and procedures used by all organizations, federal, state and local for activating, assembling, and transporting all resources that have been requested to respond to or support an incident or a declared fire.

Mutual Aid Agreement: Written agreement between agencies and/or jurisdictions in which they agree to assist one another upon request, by furnishing personnel and equipment.

National Fire Danger Rating System: A uniform fire danger rating system that focuses on the environmental factors that control the moisture content of fuels.

National Office: This term refers to several Headquarter roles, including the Director, Recovery Division Director, and Recovery Division staff.

Performance Period: The time interval designated in block 13 on the Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424) for the Grantee and all subgrantees to submit eligible costs and have those costs processed, obligated, and closed out by FEMA.

Pre-Positioning: Moving existing fire prevention or suppression resources from an area of lower fire danger to one of higher fire danger in anticipation of an increase in fire activity likely to constitute the threat of a major disaster.

Prescribed Burning: Skillful application of fire of natural fuels under conditions of weather, fuel moisture, soil moisture, and other conditions that will produce the intensity of heat and rate of spread required to accomplish certain planned benefits to one or more objectives of silviculture, wildfire management, grazing, and hazard reduction. Its objective is to employ fire scientifically to realize net benefits at minimum damage and acceptable cost.

Prevention: Activities directed at reducing the incidence of fires, including public education, law enforcement, personal contact, and reduction of fuel hazards.

Principal Advisor: An individual appointed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) or the Bureau of Land Management who is responsible for providing FEMA with a technical assessment of a fire or fire complex. The Principal Advisor is a designated representative of FEMA.

Project Worksheet: FEMA Form 90-91, which identifies actual costs incurred by eligible applicants as a result of the eligible firefighting activities.

Providing Entity: The agency or jurisdiction providing personnel and/or equipment to another agency or jurisdiction as outlined according to the terms of a mutual aid agreement between the two.

Public Assistance: Supplementary Federal assistance provided under the Stafford Act to State and local governments or certain private, nonprofit organizations for eligible emergency measures and repair, restoration, and replacement of damaged facilities. For further information, see Subparts G and H of Part 206.

Receiving Entity: The agency or jurisdiction receiving personnel and/or equipment from another agency or jurisdiction as outlined according to the terms of a mutual aid agreement between the two.

Recovery Division Director: The Recovery Division Director or Deputy Director, as applicable, of the Recovery Directorate of FEMA’s National office, or his/her designated representative.

Regional Director: A director of a FEMA regional office, or his/her designated representative.

Rehabilitation: The activities necessary to repair damage or disturbance caused by wildland fires or the fire suppression activity. Not to be confused with temporary repairs (see Temporary Repairs).

Request for Federal Assistance: See Standard Form (SF) 424.

Resource Order: An order placed for firefighting or support resources.

Resources: Personnel, equipment, services and supplies available, or potentially available, for assignment to fire events.

Stafford Act: The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 93-288, as amended.

Staging Area: Locations set up at an incident where resources can be placed while awaiting a tactical assignment on a three-minute available basis. Staging areas are managed by the operations section.

Standard Form (SF) 424: The SF 424 is the Request for Federal Assistance. This is the form the State submits to apply for a grant under a fire management assistance declaration.

State: The term State refers to the States, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and insular areas, and can include Indian Tribes and Alaskan Native Tribal governments.

State Administrative Plan: The State must develop an Administrative Plan (or have a current FEMA-approved Administrative Plan on file with the FEMA Regional Office) that describes the procedures for administering the FMAGP. It may be a stand-alone plan or it may be an addendum to the Public Assistance Program State Administrative Plan.

Subgrant: An award of financial assistance under a grant by a Grantee to an eligible subgrantee.

Subgrantee: An applicant that is awarded a subgrant and is accountable to the Grantee for the use of grant funding provided.

Temporary Repairs: FMAGP funding may be available for the temporary repair of damage caused by firefighting activities related to a declared fire. Repair activities must be temporary actions that protect the immediate safety of the general public. All temporary repair of damage caused by firefighting activities must be completed within 30 days of the close of the incident period for the declared fire. It should be noted that temporary repair of damage caused by firefighting activities does not include repair of damage caused by the declared fire.

Threat of a Major Disaster: The potential impact of the fire or fire complex is of a severity and magnitude that would result in a presidential major disaster declaration for the Public Assistance Program, the Individual Assistance Program, or both.

Uncontrolled Fire: Any fire not safely confined to predetermined control lines as established by firefighting resources.

Volunteer Fire Department (VFD): A fire department of which some or all members are unpaid.

Wildfire: Also known as a forest fire, vegetation fire, grass fire, or brush fire, is an uncontrolled fire requiring suppression action and often occurring in wildland areas, but which can also consume houses or agricultural resources. Common causes include lightening, human carelessness and arson.

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