Cherokee Nation hands out grants to rural fire departments

Wednesday, January 25th 2006, 10:05 am
By: News On 6

The Cherokee Nation made a much needed donation to several county fire departments financially strapped from fighting wildfires.

The $250,000 donation will be shared with fire departments within the 14 county Cherokee Nation jurisdiction, based on their needs. Wildfires have burned more than 360,000 acres across the state since November.

Firefighters say the money will fix faulty equipment and replace gear damaged or destroyed while fighting recent wildfires.

Skiatook Fire Captain Jerry Magee says the Cherokee Nation's gift was overwhelming. "I feel honored for the department. We've been on fires where some structures have been lost, but nobody's perished. We've not lost any lives and that's the main thing.”

Magee says some firefighters have bought basic equipment like gloves and rakes with money out of their own pockets to help fight fires.