Office of the Governor - Greg Abbott

Governor Abbott Declares State Of Disaster For Six Texas Counties

Saturday, March 11, 2017  •  Austin, Texas  •  Press Release
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Following major wildfires in the Texas Panhandle, Governor Greg Abbott today declared a State of Disaster in the following counties: Gray, Hemphill, Lipscomb, Ochiltree, Roberts and Wheeler. In addition to the disaster declaration, the State of Texas has asked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a Secretarial Disaster Designation to activate the USDA Farm Service Agency's Emergency Loan Program to help eligible farmers and ranchers rebuild and recover from losses sustained by the wildfires.

“This week’s wildfires have had a devastating impact on a significant portion of the Texas Panhandle,” said Governor Abbott. “Texans have always been resilient in their response to disasters and this time will be no different. Cecilia and I thank the first responders who are working tirelessly to help all those affected, and we continue to ask that all Texans keep the Panhandle community and the families of the victims of this disaster in their thoughts and prayers.” 

Earlier this week, Governor Abbott granted a waiver to hay carriers in the Texas Panhandle and asked the USDA to accelerate the temporary suspension of grazing restrictions in the affected areas, in addition to urging the Farm Service Agency to expedite the implementation of the Emergency Conservation Program that provides critical financial resources to impacted farmers and ranchers.

Donation information and other disaster recovery resources can be found here.

To read the full letter, click here.