A true team effort exists in response to wildfires in the state of Texas, as numerous state and federal agencies offer help to those responding to and recovering from the fires.

In addition to support from the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also have assistance programs available.

“Mother Nature has not been kind to Texas farmers and ranchers in 2011,” said Juan M. Garcia, State Executive Director for Texas FSA.  “Although not a remedy to the extensive hardships and heartbreak experienced by many producers this year, it’s my hope that FSA’s disaster programs and loans can alleviate some of the financial strain producers have suffered from the devastating impact of the recent natural disasters.”

Available programs

FSAoffers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist agricultural producers statewide in their recovery efforts following wildfires or similar qualifying natural disasters.  Visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ for more details. The assistance programs available include:

“NRCS in Texas will help landowners to address wind erosion that continues to occur because of the drought and the effects from wildfires,” said NRCS State Conservationist Salvador Salinas. “Our assistance will enable landowners and livestock producers to accelerate the recovery of the health and vigor of the affected grazing land.”

NRCS is offering technical and financial assistance statewide to landowners through several programs:

Applicants should visit the local NRCS office to fill out an application for cost-share assistance.Information is also available at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov.

There are also SBA and FEMA programs:

“When everyone works together and the various programs are offered, it helps recovery speed forward that much more,” said State Coordinating Officer Shari Ramirez-MacKay.

“Our goal is a unity of effort across the spectrum of government from the local, state and federal level that provides the greatest amount of assistance to those impacted by the wildfires,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin L. Hannes. “Multiple programs and sources of assistance are available to increase the speed of recovery and create stronger communities; what one program doesn’t cover, another program may be able support.” 

  • FEMA is supporting the wildfires with a presidential disaster declaration that will reimburse 45 Texas counties for Emergency Protective Measures, Fire Management Assistance Grant declarations for 43 Texas wildfires, and the availability of Hazard Mitigation funds statewide.  Find more information about the recovery operations on the TDEM website at www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem.