State lawmakers announce relief package for rural firefighters

Thursday, January 19th 2006, 6:05 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- State lawmakers want to protect Oklahoma's prairies with a relief package that will direct more resources to rural firefighters who are battling grass fires.

A dozen House Democrats, including many from rural Oklahoma, unveiled the package at the state Capitol Wednesday.

The plan includes $30-million to replenish a rural fire defense fund. Rural fire departments borrow from the fund to purchase equipment and repay the money over time.

Lawmakers also want to appropriate $5-million from the Rainy Day reserve fund to help rural fire departments cope with their losses.

Wildfires have scorched 414,000 acres, destroyed more than 250 homes and businesses and left two people dead since November 1st.