President Urged To Tour Texas Fire Damage

Texas lawmakers in Washington are urging President Barack Obama to tour fire damage in the state.

U.S. Republican Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn sent a letter to the President inviting him to tour areas devastated by wild fires. The President will be in Texas next week for a fundraising event in Austin. He will also visit El Paso for an event related to immigration. The Senators hope seeing damage firsthand will help the President reconsider his recent denial of the State's request for a federal disaster declaration.

Sens. Hutchison and Cornyn wrote, "We are hopeful that after seeing this devastation firsthand, you will reconsider your recent denial and provide the State and localities with the vital resources and funding required to fully support their work."

The Texas Forest Service says it has helped respond to 9,496 fires since November 15, 2010. The blazes have charred 2,293,095 acres.

The TFS is currently helping with three major fires in the state that span 498,494 acres. They are located in Presidio & Jeff Davis Counties, Val Verde County and Kimble County.

The TFS says 208 of the states 254 counties are currently under a burn ban.

· 208 of the 254 Texas counties are reporting burn bans.