Obama OKs federal assistance for Okanogan County, tribes for public infrastructure lost in wildfires

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee announced late Monday that the Obama administration approved federal assistance for Okanogan County and the Colville tribes for repairing and replacing roads, bridges and public utilities lost because of recent wildfires.

"The approval means FEMA will reimburse Okanogan County and the confederated Colville tribes for 75 percent of the costs of eligible expenses related to disaster-damaged facilities such as roads, bridges, and public utilities. Preliminary estimates show the fires caused approximately $35 million in damages," Inslee's office said.

The Obama administration has not yet made a decision on federal assistance for individuals and households. FEMA officials indicated they are still reviewing the governor's request and did not indicate a timeline for a decision.

"This is good news for our local government leaders who have been managing significant damage as a result of these fires," Inslee said. "I appreciate the administration's swift and prompt review of our request and am hopeful we'll hear more news soon about resources for our impacted families and businesses."