FEMA approves federal assistance for Mayes County

Wednesday, November 30th 2005, 11:20 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Brad Henry has asked for federal assistance to help cover expenses related to fighting Oklahoma grass fires, which have charred more than 50,000 acres of land and destroyed 50 homes.

The request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency was for fires that began Sunday in Stephens, Mayes, Garvin and McIntosh counties. FEMA approved the request for Mayes County Wednesday morning, the governor's office said. The requests for the other counties were under consideration.

The state is seeking assistance for local governments and volunteer fire departments that responded to the fires.

"The firefighters who have fought these blazes have done an incredible job, and they have done so despite exhaustion, fierce winds and resources that have been stretched to the limits," Henry said. "This grant money, if approved for all these counties, will greatly help local governments in these eligible areas."

Earlier this month, Henry issued a statewide burn ban to help reduce the threat of wildfires.

More than a dozen wildfires began across the state on Sunday as the state was raked with 60 mph winds. Some were caused by downed power lines, others are under investigation.