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Request for Public Assistance deadline approaches for Texas counties

A wildfire flares up on the west side of Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas, Saturday, April 16, 2011.
AP Photo/LM Otero
A wildfire flares up on the west side of Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas, Saturday, April 16, 2011.

AUSTIN, Texas - Local governments and other public entities in 30 Texas counties hit by wildfires from Aug. 30 to Dec. 31, 2011, have 10 days to submit official requests for federal assistance, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday.The deadline to file a Request for Public Assistance (RPA) with the state is Thursday, March 1. The form is available at: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/documents/dr_pa_forms/dr_rpa.pdf. Completed forms may be faxed to 512-706-4320 to the attention of Riley Kyle or emailed to riley.kyle@dps.texas.gov.

Filing an RPA is the first step in the process of applying for federal reimbursements under FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program. Without it, applicants, including state agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations, cannot receive reimbursement for their eligible wildfire-related expenses.
A Feb. 1 amendment to the major disaster declaration of Sept. 9, 2011, made PA grants available to eligible applicants in Bosque County for emergency protective measures and wildfire-related debris removal as well as for repairs to infrastructure damaged in the blazes.

Additionally, applicants in 29 other counties are now eligible to submit RPAs to help recover costs they incurred in protecting lives and property before, during and after the wildfires.

These counties are Bowie, Caldwell, Camp, Crockett, Fayette, Foard, Franklin, Grayson, Grimes, Hardin, Hunt, Jefferson, Kendall, La Salle, Lee, Limestone, Matagorda, McCulloch, Newton, Orange, Pecos, Polk, Red River, Reeves, Roberts, San Augustine, Shelby, Titus and Tyler.

"Our goal is to help Texas communities recover from last year's wildfires as quickly as possible so they can focus on preparing for the current wildfire season," said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin Hannes of FEMA. "Applicants can help us help them by submitting their requests for assistance well ahead of the deadline."
Under the PA program, FEMA obligates funds to the state for 75 percent of eligible costs, while the applicant covers the remaining 25 percent. The state forwards the federal funds to the eligible local governments or organizations that incurred costs.

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