Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 26, 2011
Sen. Ron Justice
Senate Republican Rural Caucus Urge Rural
Fire Departments to Seek Aid
The Senate Republican Rural Caucus met with members of the Forestry
Division from the Department of Agriculture today to discuss pressing
issues regarding wildfires. Oklahoma has already seen a large amount
of wildfires this year, and will only increase with the lack of
rainfall expected in the western half of the state.
“We want to give our rural fire departments access to every
possible resource,” said Senator Ron Justice, R-Chickasha
and Chair of the Republican Rural Caucus. “They have been
courageously fighting wildfires with limited supply, and we need
to help them recoup these costs in every way we can.”
The Rural Caucus urges rural fire departments to seek the aid that
is available to them. Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAGs)
are available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
These FMAGs will provide recovery assistance to fire departments
and other emergency organizations for the expense of resources necessary
to respond. The FMAGs allow up to 75% reimbursement of expenses.
Once the state has accumulated $600,000 of expense or greater to
fight wildfires, the departments can apply for federal aid.
FMAGS are processed through the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture,
Forestry Division. Oklahoma has 11 rural fire department coordinators
that are responsible for disseminating information and awareness
of the grants and application process to fire departments throughout
the state. Once a fire department completes a letter for reimbursement,
it is sent back to the Forestry Division at the Dept. of Ag and
they clear the request through FEMA. Turnaround usually takes 30
to 45 days for a department to receive support.
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture will be sending a letter
to all rural fire departments informing them of the FMAG if they
have not been previously made aware of the grant.
“Unfortunately some politicians will use this as a time to
find cameras and point fingers, but we are just concerned about
what really matters which is getting our fire departments the aid
that they need. We encourage fire departments affected by recent
wildfires to apply for assistance if they are in need,” Justice
For more information about how to complete an FMAG application,
rural fire departments are encouraged to contact Blayne Arthur with
the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, at (405) 522-6105.
For more information contact:
Sen. Justice: (405) 521-5537