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Riverside County to receive federal grant to offset Banning fire costs


The federal government will cover around three-quarters of the costs of fighting a roughly 3,000-acre wildfire near Banning that destroyed a home and threatened hundreds more, it was announced today.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved a Cal Fire request for reimbursement of expenses tied to "managing, mitigating and controlling" the Summit Fire, which broke out Wednesday afternoon and was 65 percent contained today.

According to FEMA, the wildfire is considered a major disaster and therefore federal disaster relief funds can be applied toward firefighting and recovery efforts. Any disbursal would be limited to 75 percent of the total costs, federal officials said.

At its height, the Summit Fire threatened 450 residences and several high-power transmission lines in Cherry Valley. A mobile home park was evacuated and roads in the area were shut down. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze.

All evacuation orders have since been lifted. There was no word on when the fire would be completely contained.

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