On fire aid, Oklahoma faces waiting game

BY JOHNNY JOHNSON Modified: April 15, 2009 at 4:50 am •  Published: April 15, 2009

photo - Sisters Sara, 3, and Cheyann Ford, 5, play Tuesday on a wooden swing set that escaped last week’s flames. The girls were visiting their grandmother, who lives next door to the burned house in the background.  FEMA officials toured neighborhoods devastated in Thursday’s wildfires. PHOTO BY JIM BECKEL, THE OKLAHOMAN
Sisters Sara, 3, and Cheyann Ford, 5, play Tuesday on a wooden swing set that escaped last week’s flames. The girls were visiting their grandmother, who lives next door to the burned house in the background. FEMA officials toured neighborhoods devastated in Thursday’s wildfires. PHOTO BY JIM BECKEL, THE OKLAHOMAN

/> "It’s just important that we get out and document the big picture,” she said. "You know a lot of Oklahomans are still reeling from this, and they’re hurting a great deal.”

Wildfires in 2005 and 2006 did trigger federal aid to individuals, but Ooten said it’s too early to tell whether the recent damage might bring grants and low-interest loans.

FEMA spokesman Brad Craine said if most burned buildings were insured, there will be no reason for a presidential declaration.

Midwest City resident Floyd Craft lost everything when his 9-year-old house burned to the ground. But by this time next year, Craft, who was fully insured, plans to be living in a new home in the same spot.

"I don’t know that any individual FEMA help will help me,” he said. "But hopefully, it can help some of the people.”



Here’s a look at the top 10 states for wildfires in 2008 with the number of acres scorched:

1. Texas

16,713 fires

1,570,586 acres

2. California

5,812 fires

1,339,839 acres

3. Oklahoma

5,572 fires

196,563 acres

4. Georgia

5,454 fires

23,081 acres

5. North Carolina

4,414 fires

95,938 acres

6. Alabama

3,103 fires

32,447 acres

7. Florida

2,939 fires

156,102 acres

8. South Carolina

2,626 fires

15,751 acres

9. Mississippi

1,898 fires

27,399 acres

10. Arizona

1,850 fires

85,496 acres

Sources: National Interagency Coordination Center and the Insurance Information Institute

Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Raiders owner in talks with San Antonio to relocate team
  2. 2
    Texas: Gay-marriage ban best for children
  3. 3
    Steven Adams: 'If I'm a d---,' they'll think all New Zealand guys are
  4. 4
    Future OSU-TU football, basketball games added in contract
  5. 5
    Kurt Warner wants Sam Bradford to 'develop confidence, take some chances'
+ show more