Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Urgent Needs in Texas

For those that don't know, I live in Oklahoma. Currently Oklahoma and Texas are in an extreme drought and have been for around a year now. The drought has brought on wildfires that have claimed lives, homes, and thousands upon thousands of acres.

Fire in Allen, Oklahoma
Photo Property of Pontotoc County Emergency Management

While Oklahoma does still have fires burning, including a large one that has burned more than 30,000 acres in the Wichita Mountains, the fires here are thankfully in not largely populated areas and most are contained. Texas on the other hand is in desperate need of help. There is a massive fire that is estimated to have taken around 1,000 homes already. It's in Bastrop County, which is south east of Austin.

As of less than an hour ago, Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management (BCOEM) reported that 0% of the fire is contained. They have closed school in the area for the rest of the week and much of the area is being evacuated. A call has been put out for volunteer firefighters that can and are willing to go help. And they are also in need of help getting animals evacuated. We found during the Oklahoma fires many people didn't have time or a good way to get their animals out. Often firefighters are forced to just cut fences and let animals loose so they can get to safety.

This fire is a reminder of what our changing climate can do. With increased droughts will come an increase of fires like these. There is no end in site for the Oklahoma and Texas drought and sadly this is not likely the last major wildfire the two states will face.

Video of the Bastrop County Fire.

If you would like to donate to help the people in Bastrop County here are some ways you can do so.
You can send checks or money orders to
Bastrop Christian Ministerial Alliance
PO Box 856
Bastrop, TX 78602

For more information you can reach them at 512-332-8661

You can also donate to the American Red Cross of Central Texas. They are providing shelter, food and other services.

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