Stillwater News Press

Local News

August 9, 2012

Wildfires burn hole through firefighting budgets

STILLWATER, Okla. — Wildfires are burning a hole in fire department budgets. Hit hardest are volunteer departments like Glencoe.

Tires, hoses, alternators, batteries and damaged fire gear eat into budgets. The Glencoe department went through $2,000 in fuels and thousands more in water costs. It all adds up.

Glencoe Fire Chief Randall Clark said the fires are likely to rack up a bill of $10,000 or more. The department’s annual budget is about $16,500, which is funded through county taxes, the town and fundraising.

The fires have been declared a disaster so 75 percent of the expenses will likely be reimbursed by the government, Clark said.

“But that could take a year and a half to see the money,” Clark said.

Clark said he isn’t asking for money or donations.

Residents have already donated $8,900, he said And much of the repairs were done for free or paid for by residents.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Clark said. He directed supporters to send money to First Bank of Oklahoma to the Glencoe Fire Victims’ Fund.

“I think Glencoe fire is OK financially,” Clark said.

 

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