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FEMA Adds Counties, Extends Deadline for Wildfire Assistance

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A federal agency has announced that funds will be sent to Texas to help communities damaged by the recent wildfires.

Governor Rick Perry announced Wednesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will expand its major disaster declaration to include 119 counties for wildfire assistance, and has extended the incident period.

The original FEMA declaration only covered wildfires which occurred between April 6th through May 3rd of 2011, and only included 45 counties. The extension moves the declaration date through August 29th, 2011, and adds 74 counties.

Counties included in the expanded disaster declaration are eligible to receive up to 75 percent reimbursement for certain expenses.

Perry said “This extension provides much-needed relief for counties whose first responders bravely fought the high winds and extreme heat day after day as devastating wildfires threatened their homes and communities.”

More than 3.9 million acres have been burned in over 26,000 fires since late last December, and response costs on both the state and local levels are estimated at over $330 million.

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