Obama approves disaster aid after recent Texas wildfires

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 10, 2011 10:08 AM
Obama approves disaster aid after recent Texas wildfires

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama late on Friday approved federal disaster assistance for parts of Texas charred by recent wildfires, acting after criticism from Texas Governor Rick Perry that the federal government was ignoring the drought in his state.

The White House said Obama declared a major disaster exists in Texas and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by wildfires beginning on August 30, 2011.

Obama's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Bastrop County, where wildfires have forced the evacuation of residents and burned many homes.

Perry, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination to challenge Obama, has been criticizing the federal government for months, saying it was ignoring the plight of Texas while offering disaster assistance to other parts of the country hit by hurricanes, tornadoes and other calamities.

(Reporting and Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Barbara Goldberg)