Wildfires Burn Up Budgets For Rural Oklahoma Fire Departments

Wildfires Burn Up Budgets For Rural Oklahoma Fire Departments

08 April 2011

published by www.newson6.com

USA — Not only is this year’s wildfire season a dangerous one, it’s also an expensive season. Many rural fire departments are strapped for cash after week after week of fighting fires.

At the Freedom Hill Fire Station in Creek County, Carolyn Smythe is paying the volunteer district’s bills, like the one for fuel.

Lately, several of those bills are sky high. With such a severe fire season, meeting expenses on a small budget is getting more difficult.

“Very expensive,” she said.

As fires burn across the Oklahoma countryside, many volunteer fire departments in the state, like Freedom Hill, are burning through their funds.

“We don’t have a lot of time for extra fundraising, because we’re fighting fires,”Smythe said.

Not far away in the Keystone Fire District, it’s the same story.

“In extreme need of some extra funding. On the volunteer fire side there’s not a lot of funding there,” Chris Blackburn, Keystone Fire Chief, said.

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