State of Disaster Declared to Fight Drought and Wildfires
Extensive drought and wildfire threats statewide led Governor Greg Abbott to declare a threat of imminent disaster for at least 72 counties, including many in the South Plains.
A state of disaster was officially declared on Friday, allowing farmers in selected counties to receive financial support from the state for any weather-related losses. Lubbock, Crosby, Childress, Lynn, Parmer, and Yoakum are just a few counties included on the list.
The declaration also allows fire agencies to apply for Fire Management Assistance Grants that can sometimes cover 75 percent of firefighting costs. The Texas A&M Forest Service has already taken advantage of the newly available grants to help combat two fires raging in the Texas Panhandle.
"I want to assure the citizens of Texas that we will do all we can to respond to this threat and ensure their safety and the protection of their property," said Governor Abbott in the declaration. "I encourage those in these counties to heed the warnings of local officials and do all they can to stay out of harm's way. Texas is no stranger to wildfires, and will be prepared to respond as needed."
Red Flag Warnings have been prominent in Northwest Texas and Eastern New Mexico since January. Wildfires and drought have also plagued neighboring Oklahoma. On Monday, two people were killed in a wildfire in western Oklahoma.