State officials say emergency funding needed

Friday, January 13th 2006, 6:17 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Lawmakers are being told that rural fire departments and a state agency need an emergency appropriation to continue fighting wildfires.

John Burwell of the forestry division of the state Department of Agriculture says 97 percent of his budget was spent by the end of December.

Burwell says his agency had to borrow money from the upcoming budget to write checks to the fire departments so they can keep running.

State Senator Jeff Rabon of Hugo says he supports tapping the state's Rainy Day fund to help fire agencies after the Legislature convenes next month.

Rabon says local fire departments simply can't wait for funding under a federal disaster declaration approved this week by President Bush.