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Firefighter Grant Money Missed Wildfire Prone Areas in Texas

DALLAS (AP) — A state review has found that some Texas counties scorched by this month’s out-of-control wildfires got only a small portion of the more than $128 million the state doled out to volunteer fire departments for training and equipment in the past decade.

The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission’s review of the state’s forest service program showed that 59 of the 74 counties determined to have a high risk for wildfires got less than $1 million in grant money for their volunteer departments. The report covered 2001 through 2009.

The report criticized the Texas Forest Service for not considering wildfire risk as a factor when divvying up the grants. Forest service officials say starting Sept. 1 that policy will change and such risk will be considered.

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