Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin announced on May 25 the state of Oklahoma has requested a major disaster declaration from the federal government for six counties impacted by wildfires and severe weather that occurred April 11-20.
If approved, the designation would deliver federal funding to assist municipalities, counties and rural electric cooperatives with infrastructure repairs, debris removal, and other eligible costs.
The counties in the request are: Custer, Dewey, Harmon, Pushmataha, Roger Mills and Woodward.
Two deaths and multiple injuries were attributed to numerous wildfires that burned more than 350,000 acres statewide in April. Eastern Oklahoma also experienced severe weather on April 13, including damaging winds and large hail.
Damage assessments indicate the fires and severe storms resulted in more than $6.8 million in infrastructure damage and other costs, not including those associated with responding to the fires.
Additional counties may be added to the public assistance declaration request at a later date should conditions warrant.
Dewey County was previously approved for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Declaration, which provides SBA low-interest disaster loans for homeowners and business owners in Dewey County to replace any property damaged by the fires that was not covered by insurance or other assistance programs. The loan program is also available to assist businesses that sustained economic injury due to the storm. Under SBA rules, the contiguous counties of Blaine, Custer, Ellis, Major, Roger Mills, and Woodward are also eligible for the SBA program.