Sens. James Lankford, Jim Inhofe pledge assistance to Oklahomans affected by wildfires


Staff Report



WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. lawmakers from Oklahoma visit fire-ravaged areas and pledge support to victims of recent wildfires.

Sens. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) recently released information on the services available to provide assistance to those impacted by the wildfires affecting northwestern Oklahoma.

“All of Oklahoma stands with our friends and neighbors in northwest Oklahoma battling the devastating wildfires — they are not alone,” Lankford said. “A number of fire relief resources have already been made available as they walk through a literal firestorm. Oklahomans that want to help can donate — hay, water, food and additional items to support those in Harper County, Woodward County, Beaver County and the surrounding areas. Senator Inhofe and I are working with the USDA, relief organizations, and community leaders to provide a list of resources that are available to help. If anyone has questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with our friends and neighbors in Beaver, Harper, and Woodward Counties who are reeling from the effects of three separate wildfires and need our help; many in northwest Oklahoma have lost their homes, farms and ranches,” Inhofe said. “As our firefighters, first responders, and volunteers work tirelessly to contain the flames, those who wish to donate food, water, hay and other necessities should reach out to The American Red Cross which has partnered with the Southern Baptist Men and the Salvation Army. Senator Lankford and I are working to ensure that everyone who has been affected by the wildfires has access to the resources and information available to them through FEMA, USDA and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Our offices are standing by to direct those who need assistance, don’t hesitate to call.”

The US Department of Agriculture has a number of specific programs to provide assistance to Oklahomans impacted by the wildfires. The type of assistance available is dependent on factors unique to each individual. It is important to review all available options to determine which program and type of assistance fits your situation:

— Farm Services Agency or FSA

— Emergency Loans or EM

· Available based on the physical loss of property, including cattle and stored hay lost in a wildfire, and buildings and fences damaged or destroyed

· Loans may be made for the full cost to replace the property lost, but certain deductions may apply

· Applications must have an acceptable credit history but be unable to obtain credit from conventional sources (bank, farm credit system, etc.)

— Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program or NAP

· Financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops, including forage

· Applicants have to meet application deadlines and coverage limits apply

— Livestock Forage Disaster Program or LFP

· Available to producers whose grazing losses due to fire are on federally managed rangeland

— Livestock Indemnity Program or LIP

· Available to livestock producers for livestock deaths caused by adverse weather, including wildfires exacerbated by eligible adverse weather, but only covers 75 percent of the market value of the livestock

· Can only be used for livestock produced for commercial use as part of a farming operation

— Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program or ELAP

· Emergency assistance for losses during relatively unusual circumstances unique to an individual

— Tree Assistance Program or TAP

· Assistance to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes, and vines lost by natural disasters produced for commercial purposes

— Conservation Reserve Program or CRP

· Emergency use of CRP in the form of haying and grazing can be allowed in circumstances related to wildfire

— Emergency Conservation Program or ECP

· Can provide cost-share assistance to rebuild fences and other agricultural infrastructure

Practices eligible for wild fire disaster event:

— EC-3 – Restoring permanent fence

· Replace farm fences used for agricultural purposes

— EC-4 – Restoring conservation structures and other installations

· Provides assistance to repair or replace damaged windmills or solar units for livestock water

— Risk Management Agency or RMA

· Farmers and ranchers with coverage through the federal crop insurance program administered by the Risk Management Agency should contact their crop insurance agent to discuss available options

— Natural Resources Conservation Service or NRCS

· Provides assistance to people effected by wildfire through the Conservation Technical Assistance or CTA and the Environmental Quality Incentive Program or EQIP available through local service centers

For detailed information about programs, visit USDA at www.usda.gov.

For more information, contact Inhofe at 202-224-4721 or visit www.inhofe.senate.gov or Lankford at 202-224-5754 or visit www.lankford.senate.gov.

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Staff Report

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