President Obama today declared parts of Texas a major disaster area, clearing the way for federal assistance. This comes months after Governor Rick Perry and U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn made the official requests and accused the President of intentionally ignoring Texas because of political reasons.
Governor Perry issued a statement today after receiving word of President Obama’s decision.
Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on Disaster Request Approval
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding President Barack Obama’s approval of a portion of Texas’ request for a disaster declaration resulting from 11,940 wildfires that have consumed more than 3.2 million acres since December 2010:
“President Obama’s decision to finally approve a portion of our disaster designation request is good for Texas and some of the communities impacted by this season’s wildfires. We will continue to work with FEMA to ensure all affected jurisdictions and entities receive the support they deserve after battling these massive fires since December. Our prayers continue to go out to those putting their lives on the line fighting these fires, as well as those whose property and livelihoods remain in danger.”
This partial approval only applies to fires fought between April 6 and May 3, 2011, covering just a fraction of the fires fought in Texas so far this season.
On April 15, Gov. Perry sent a letter to President Obama requesting a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Texas, which would make the state eligible for Direct Federal Assistance and Emergency Protective Measures from the federal government. The governor’s request was denied on May 3. Gov. Perry appealed the president’s decision on May 26.
Counties qualifying for emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, include: Andrews, Archer, Armstrong, Bailey, Baylor, Brewster, Callahan, Carson, Castro, Clay, Coleman, Concho, Cottle, Crockett, Dawson, Duval, Eastland, Garza, Glasscock, Hall, Hemphill, Hockley, Irion, Kent, King, Lynn, Martin, Mason, Mitchell, Moore, Motley, Pecos, Presidio, Scurry, Stephens, Sterling, Sutton, Terrell, Terry, Throckmorton, Tom Green, Trinity, Tyler, Val Verde, and Young.
Gov. Perry reminds all Texans of the ongoing threat of wildfires, and urges everyone to observe burn bans and fireworks bans in place over Independence Day weekend.
For more information on wildfires, including a list of counties under burn bans and how to prepare for the threat of wildfires, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/wildfires.