Firefighters with the Oregon Department of Forestry incident management team assigned to the Milepost 97 Fire looked to make progress on the largest fire on the contiguous West Coast on Monday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized the use of federal funds to help with firefighting costs for the Milepost 97 Fire.

The federal agency determined that the fire "threatened to cause such destruction as would constitute a major disaster" and approved the request sent in by the state, according to a press release.

The money, which comes as a Fire Management Assistance Grant, is provided through the President's Disaster Relief Fund and are made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires that threaten to cause a major disaster, according to the press release. Typically, the money can be used to cover expenses for field camps, equipment, mobilization activities and other supplies.

In addition to reimbursement funding, nearly $606,000 will be available to the state, according to the agency.

The state requested the assistance when the wildfire was just under 9,000 acres and only 5% contained. As of Monday, the blaze has grown to 11,668 acres and is only 10% contained.

The cost to fight the fire so far, which is believed to have been started by an illegal campfire, is estimated at $3 million.

Ian Campbell can be reached at or 541-957-4209. Or follow him on Twitter @MrCampbell17.

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