Leon County to Split Wildfire Assistance Funds with 32 Texas Counties

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

Nearly two years after parts of the lone star state were devastated by wildfires, 32 Texas counties including Leon and Walker counties are receiving grant money to aid the recovery.

“People have been very cautious around here since those fires,” said Leon County Judge Byron Ryder.

September 4th was a day that changed many lives in Leon County.

“It was very dry at that time,” Ryder added.

Today -- it still is.

“You just never know how fast a fire can move or how devastating it is until you're actually involved in something like that,” Ryder said.

Although it's been more than a year NATS the stories and memories remain.

“People let their livestock just go and gathered em’ up later.

And if you take a look behind the Concord Cemetery, located on Farm tp Market Road 1696 & 39 -- you'll see firsthand, the damage does too.

“We were blessed to come out with the losses that we had,” said Ryder.

Approximately 4,689 acres were scorched in the Concord-Robbins wildfire in 2011. Texas A&M Forest Service says 857 homes were saved; 35 were lost. Judge Byron Ryder says given the circumstances -- and compared to other Texas Counties scorched by raging fires -- it could have been worse.

According to the Texas Forest Service, to date Leon County has received 157,318.00 in funding from the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program. The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced the latest National Emergency Grant that pushes the Texas total to more than $1.2 million. A $406,000 federal grant will help Texas fund temporary jobs as cleanup and recovery efforts continue. The federal funding is a step in the right direction towards recovery with new beginnings and new opportunities.

News 3 reached out to the Leon County Emergency Management Office to find out what type of jobs would be available once the grant money is allocated – however -- our phone calls were not returned.

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