Clay County's Volunteer Fire Departments are getting some much needed money. FEMA reimbursements for the cost of fighting wildfires are coming in and nearly $100,000 is being divided.
Kent Neville, Clay County's Emergency Management Coordinator, said, "They have been catching a breather after last year. It was terrible last year, the departments were going out on a daily basis."
Now reimbursements are trickling into Clay County Volunteer Fire Departments. Mike Hall, Lake Arrowhead's VFD's Fire Chief, said everything helps in every way.
Up until now Hall's department has received a little over $4,000 in FEMA reimbursements.
"It takes a little bit of effort on our part to get it done, but it's worth it. Getting people out there to just give out donations is far and in between."
Lake Arrowhead was among all other VFD's in Clay County who submitted paperwork to get reimbursed for last summers crazy fire season.
Bellevue Fire Chief Mark Hanson was excited to get his departments check. "It helps us replenish our funds in case we do need fuel and tires." Hanson added,"We still do vehicle wrecks and numerous medical calls. Things still go on even if we don't have grass fires."
Neville said departments are planning to use the money to repair trucks, equipment, expand their fire stations and to prepare for this summer.
Neville commented, "You got grass standing two feet thick and then come June and July when it stops raining and drying out, they'll have a tremendous fuel load."
Clay County is starting a new program with the Texas Forest Service called, Ready Set Go. The program is set to get residents ready with a wildfire action plan. Program brochures give tips on how to keep your family and home safe during wildfires.