From Governor Jan Brewer's office:
PHOENIX β Governor Jan Brewer today learned from FEMA that it has rejected Arizona's appeal for federal assistance in response to the Yarnell Hill Fire.
In a separate but related letter, the Small Business Administration (SBA) said it would offer low-interest disaster loans to affected areas of Yavapai and neighboring counties. Loans of up to $200,000 will be available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters will be eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.
Statement from Governor Jan Brewer,
"To say that I'm tremendously disappointed with the decision of President Obama's administration to again deny Arizona's request for a federal disaster declaration would be an understatement. A declaration was reasonable and justified for the nation's deadliest fire in 80 years. Let's hope no future disaster occurs in Arizona that could have been mitigated by the use of a Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) team.
"There is, however, some good news. SBA's support through the issuance of loans is much needed and will be helpful to residents and businesses as they continue to pick up and put back together the pieces after this tragedy. We appreciate the assistance they will provide."
Congressman Paul Gosar and the rest of the Congressional Delegation released the following statement:
Obama Administration Rejects Aid for Fire Victims of Yarnell and Peeple's Valley
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Members of the Arizona congressional delegation issued the following responses upon learning of the Obama Administration's rejection of federal FEMA aid for the fire victims in Yarnell and Peeples Valley.
Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) said: "I remain puzzled by what appears to be an arbitrary and capricious decision to deny FEMA aid. It's beyond disappointing that once the TV cameras have left, the administration would turn its back on Yarnell and Peeple's Valley. The President made a promise to provide the support these communities justifiably deserve but has now done an about-face. Despite the administration's decision, our community will rebuild and endure."
Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) said: "The administration's promises of support when this heartbreaking human tragedy first occurred seem to have been so quickly forgotten."
Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05) said: "After the historical losses suffered by the people of Yarnell and Peeple's Valley in life and property, I am deeply disappointed that the Obama Administration would chose to deny these families their promised support. Despite the reticence of the Obama Administration to offer federal assistance, the people of Arizona will band together in order to rebuild these communities."
Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01) said: "After the Yarnell tragedy, we promised the folks in this region that we would do all we could to provide resources and support. I am disappointed that the administration has not done the same."
Congressman Ron Barber (AZ-02) said: "This tragedy that took the lives of 19 brave Arizona men is clearly a disaster β regardless of how it is labeled by FEMA. I am disappointed in FEMA's decision to deny Gov. Brewer's appeal, forcing the people of Yarnell to rebuild and recover without the assistance of their federal government."
Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) said: "I'm deeply frustrated with FEMA's decision. The devastated communities of Yarnell and Peeple's Valley have waited months for the so-called support the administration assured. Displaced families and children have been let down. As Arizonans who stick together, my colleagues in the congressional delegation and state officials remain committed as ever to helping to rebuild."