Feds deny disaster declaration for Texas wildfires
04 May 2011
published by www.star-telegram.com
USA — The federal government has denied the state’s request for a major disaster declaration to help recover from the wildfires that have burned more than 2.2 million acres since November.
Gov. Rick Perry criticized the denial in a statement released by his office late Tuesday.
“I am dismayed that this administration has denied Texans the much needed assistance they deserve,” Perry said. “It is not only the obligation of the federal government, but its responsibility under law to help its citizens in times of emergency.”
The Texas Forest Service has reported more than 9,000 fires that destroyed or damaged more than 400 homes, the statement said.
“Our state has become a model for the nation in disaster preparedness and response, but Texas is reaching its capacity to respond to these emergencies,” Perry said. “We will immediately look at all of our options, including appealing the denial.”
The governor issued an emergency disaster proclamation Dec. 21 and renewed it Jan. 19, Feb. 17, March 18 and April 15.
The proclamation remains in effect as extreme wildfire conditions persist.