[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book II)] [August 24, 1995] [Page 1264] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]
Statement on Fire Suppression Assistance for New York State August 24, 1995 Tonight in Suffolk County, New York, firefighters and other emergency workers are heroically fighting several dangerous fires that have forced the evacuation of hundreds of people, including residents of two nursing homes among other facilities. In order to help the State and county governments sustain these efforts without worry of financial hardships, I have tonight authorized fire suppression grants which will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse the State for most of the costs associated with the emergency operations. I have also directed the mobilization of the resources of the U.S. Forest Service to provide direct assistance in fighting the fires, including all necessary equipment and teams of particular expertise in fighting wild land fires. They are on their way. I have directed FEMA Director James Lee Witt and Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Jim Lyons to go to New York tonight to manage the Federal firefighting effort. Fires are frightening, and I know that the residents of these areas are going through difficult times. Our hearts and our prayers are with them, and we commend the efforts of all of those people on Long Island who are valiantly working to contain these blazes. Note: The President also recorded this statement at 9 p.m. outside the press filing center in Jackson Hole, WY, for later broadcast in New York State.