Obama Signs Disaster Declaration for Texas Wildfires

Posted on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 at 4:52 pm    

The White House granted “major disaster” status this week to 45 Texas counties that have been ravaged by wildfires.

The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pick up 75 percent of the cost of battling the wildfires, which burned between April 6 and May 3 in rural counties throughout Texas. Regional spokeswoman for FEMA in Denton, Jacqueline Chandler, said the state of Texas “demonstrated that the costs that were generated [by the fires] were above and beyond the state and local capabilities.”

While the disaster declaration is welcome news for Texas Republicans, who spent the last few months attacking FEMA over the issue, the White House granted only a portion of what the governor’s office had requested.

“We will work with FEMA to ensure all affected jurisdictions and entities receive the support they deserve after battling these massive fires since December,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a written statement. The governor’s initial application for aid, which was rejected in May, requested that all but two of Texas’ 3544 counties be granted “major disaster” status.

If your property was damaged in the recent wildfires and your insurance company has denied or underpaid your claim, please contact the Texas Fire Damage Insurance Lawyers of Smith Kendall, PLLC,  by calling 214-361-6124.