U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), late Tuesday evening, sent a letter to President Barack Obama formally requesting that he "expeditiously" consider Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's request for a federal Major Disaster Declaration for the state of Arizona as a result of the damage caused by the Yarnell Hill Fire, which claimed 19 lives and destroyed homes in Yavapai County. Rep. Gosar represents the town of Yarnell and nearly all of Yavapai County.
Below is the text of that letter:
July 9, 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Earlier today, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer made a formal request that you declare a federal Major Disaster for the State of Arizona as a result of the Yarnell Hill Fire. Simultaneously, the Governor requested a Physical Disaster Declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. As the Representative of Arizona's 4th Congressional District, encompassing the areas directly affected by the fire, I write to strongly support the Governor's requests, and respectfully ask that your Administration act on those requests expeditiously.
The Yarnell Hill Fire began burning approximately 30 miles southwest of Prescott, Arizona off Hwy 89 on June 28, 2013. The blaze, still not 100 percent contained, has reached approximately 8,377 acres. Over the course of the disaster, nineteen firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew lost their lives battling the blaze. Additionally, it is my understanding that the fire has burned hundreds of structures, including more than twenty percent of the homes in the incorporated community of Yarnell, located in Yavapai County.
This disaster has been an overwhelming loss, both in life and asset, for our community. A federal Major Disaster declaration would greatly assist our community, as the healing and rebuilding effort begins.
On behalf of all the citizens in my district, I would like to thank you for your prompt consideration of these requests. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with questions, or if I can be of further assistance.
Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S
Member of Congress