March 10, 2017
WOODWARD, OK—U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) addressed wildfires affecting northwest Oklahoma at a press conference at the West Woodward Airport this morning after surveying the damage caused by the fires in his twin engine airplane. Inhofe was joined at the press conference by U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Woodward County Emergency Manager Matt Lenhenbauer, Sen. Bryce Marlatt (OK-27), Rep. Casey Murdick (OK-61), Rep. Carl Newton (OK-58) and other community leaders.
Inhofe and Lankford yesterday released information on the resources available for Oklahomans affected by the wildfires. For more information contact Sen. Inhofe’s office at (202) 224-4721 or visit www.inhofe.senate.gov.
For those interested in assisting aid efforts there are a number of opportunities to provide assistance, including:
Oklahoma Farm Bureau has partnered with Love’s Travel Stops, the Farm Credit Associations of Oklahoma and Clean Line Energy Partners to fund relief for fire victims. If interested in donating additional funds, please contact the Oklahoma Farm Bureau office at 405-530-2681.
Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association has set up a fire relief fund through the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Foundation for the Northwestern Oklahoma Cattlemen affected by the recent wildfires. In addition, they have organized a number of points to drop-off donated hay and are working to organize those willing to donate their time or other needed supplies. For more information, please visit their website: http://www.okcattlemen.org/
The American Red Cross is also assisting residents who have lost their homes in the fires. The Northwest Oklahoma Chapter’s Woodward office can be reached at 580-256-3828. In addition, donations can be made online at: http://www.redcross.org
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
I have seen the damage caused by these wildfires first hand, and my thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones, and with all of those in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed.
Since Monday, three separate severe wildfires have devastated hundreds of thousands acres of northwest Oklahoma and over a million in the region. In spite of the heroic efforts of firefighters and the crews that have come from across Oklahoma, weather conditions, including low humidity and winds, have made it difficult to quickly contain these fires.
I will continue to work with the governor’s office, FEMA and USDA to ensure Oklahomans have access to the federal resources they need to help rebuild their homes, their farms and ranchers and their livelihood. Already, FEMA has made available Fire Management Assistance grants to help Oklahoma fight this fire.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have resources available specifically for farmers, including emergency loans to help rebuild buildings and fences and financial assistance to help cover forage and grazing losses.
For ranchers, emergency assistance is available to help rebuild herds lost in the fire.
I am supplying the news outlets with information about these programs and it will also be listed on my website. And we will keep this updated as more assistance programs may become available in the future.
On my website, you will also find contact information for my office. My staff and I will help in any way possible. Do not hesitate to reach out to us—we are committed to helping them rebuild what has been lost.