Gov. Rick Perry has renewed his emergency disaster proclamation for all 254 counties due to the ongoing threat of wildfires across the state. The proclamation directs necessary resources be made available to aid response efforts and notes the ongoing strain on water resources. Since the beginning of wildfire season, local and state firefighters have responded to more than 20,523 fires that have destroyed more than 728 homes and burned more than 3.5 million acres. This is the ninth time Gov. Perry has reissued the disaster proclamation this wildfire season; it was originally issued on Dec. 21, 2010.
"As extreme drought and high temperatures continue, Texas faces an extraordinary and ongoing threat of wildfire," Gov. Perry said. "I urge all Texans to use common sense and good judgment when grilling, camping or conducting any outdoor activities this Labor Day Weekend. In the midst of one of the worst wildfire seasons in our state's history, all it takes is a single, unnoticed spark to cause a disaster. I commend the ongoing efforts of our valiant firefighters, who continue to battle fires in defense of ranchlands, homes and businesses across the Lone Star State."
Gov. Perry also urges Texans to conserve water as the severe drought conditions have impacted water supplies in many parts of the state, resulting in declining reservoir and aquifer levels.
In addition to the governor's state proclamations, in April he sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Texas, which would make the state eligible for Direct Federal Assistance and Emergency Protective Measures from the federal government. The Obama Administration denied the governor's request on May 3. Gov. Perry appealed the president's decision on May 26, and received partial approval of relief on July 1. A request to expand the scope of federal relief is pending.
To view the governor's renewed disaster proclamation, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/news/proclamation/16543/.
For more information on preparing for wildfire threats, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/wildfires.