Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Glenn Hegar, District 18

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2011
Contact: Lisa Craven
(512) 463-0118

State Senator Glenn Hegar Urges Texans to Take Necessary Precautions
to Prevent Wildfires, Loss of Property

Austin, Texas—Today, firefighters continue to battle wildfires that ignited over a week ago. The two fires which have received the most notoriety because of the devastation they caused, the Bastrop County Complex fire and the Tri-County Riley Road fire, have yet to be extinguished with 30 percent and 5 percent, respectively, still uncontained on Thursday.

These fires, in addition to numerous others across the state, have had a devastating impact on Texas families. It is currently estimated that 1,939 homes have been destroyed since Labor Day weekend. The majority of homes lost have been in Senate District 18. To date, there have been 1,554 homes destroyed in Bastrop County, two in Eagle Lake, 10 in Bailey, six in Delhi, and 14 in Lutherhill.

Texas is battling its worst fire season in state history. Since January 1, nearly 3.7 million of the state's 167.5 million acres have burned in 19,896 fires. The area burned is equivalent to the state of Connecticut.

"It is vital that Texas residents continue to be mindful of these extreme conditions and take necessary precautions to protect their property and, most importantly, their lives," Senator Hegar said. "Our state is a tinderbox right now. It doesn't take much for a fire to start in these conditions. I cannot stress enough how critical preventative measures are to ensuring your safety."

Some families have not been able to prevent the onslaught of these fires and face much adversity in the days ahead. As fires become less threatening, authorities will begin allowing people who were forced to evacuate access to their property.

"The communities that have been impacted by these wildfires need our prayers and support. I also ask that you continue to keep our firefighters, peace officers and first responders in your thoughts and prayers as they work around the clock to extinguish these horrific fires and care for victims."

To help support those Texans who have lost their homes due to these wildfires, cash contributions and donations of clothes and other basic household goods are being accepted across the state. The Red Cross of Central Texas and various community organizations have set up a number of donation centers. Donations can also be made to the Texas Wildfire Relief Fund which can be accessed at http://txwildfirerelief.org/. For additional information about how to make a contribution or about relief efforts, please contact Senator Hegar's office at (512) 463-0118.

If your property has been damaged or destroyed, you may be eligible for federal assistance. You can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m, seven days a week.

For detailed information about wildfires across the state, visit the Texas Forest Service's website at http://tfsweb.tamu.edu.

Senator Hegar served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now represents Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800's. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.

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