Tag Archive for: disaster

Washington, D.C. Nonprofit Provides Relief During Texas Wildfires

Hutchinson County, Texas – The fires that have killed at least two people and scorched nearly 1.3 million acres of land in the Texas Panhandle are still raging. First responders and those displaced by the disaster are getting some relief from a SAMU First Response volunteer team sent from Washington, D.C., to help meet ongoing needs in the region.

Today, our Texas volunteer team has split time between two sites. At the first, a donation and distribution site located at The Dome Civic and Convention Center in Borger, SAMU’s  fully bilingual team has been able to support impacted residents with supplies.

“What we are seeing is trucks coming with ALL kinds of goods,” Mission Lead Borja González Escalada said. “There is no one showing up with just one box, but pallets of water, diapers, hand soap, new clothing and cleanup supplies. This is being distributed to the people so they have all they need for weeks.”

At a second site in nearby Canadian, SAMU team members received, organized and distributed farm supplies, including hay and feed resources, as well as fencing supplies. According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, about 85% of the state’s more than four jmillion cattle are located in the area. In some counties across the panhandle, the department reports that cattle population far exceeds people.

“The livelihoods of many cattle farmers in the area have been severely impacted by the fires,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. “These fires not only threaten lives and property but will also have a substantial impact on our agriculture industry.”

Although four wildfires have been contained in Cass, Red River, Wood and Tyler Counties, active wildfires in Gray, Hutchinson, Moore and Oldham counties continue to burn. Most are between 55 and 85 percent contained, but the largest, the Smokehouse Creek Fire in Hutchinson County is about 15 percent contained. That blaze has become the largest wildfire in the state’s history and is estimated to have consumed a total of 1,076,638 acres. On Saturday, the Texas A&M Forest Service responded to four new requests for assistance with approximately 37 acres of wildfires burning across the state. Strong winds on Sunday prompted another evacuation in Sanford, Texas.