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Millions In Reimbursements For 2011 Wildfire Costs

Bull Caught In Wildfire
A bull tries to escape a running wildfire in Graford, Texas. (credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - By December of 2011 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had declared wildfire disaster declarations in more than 150 Texas counties. Today the agency refunded some of the money spent to fight those fires.

More than $47 million was awarded to the state of Texas for reimbursement of expenses.

The money is to cover costs for wildfires that burned more than 1.3 million acres, in 168 Texas counties.

The FEMA funding was for rescue efforts made by the Texas A & M Forest Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson said, "We are proud to continue the successful collaboration with our local and state partners as those communities rebuild and move forward with the recovery process."

The FEMA reimbursement represents a 75-percent federal cost share. The agency will send the money directly to the state of Texas; the state will then forward grant funds to eligible applicants.

Officials with the Texas Forest Service say the 2011 wildfire season was the worst in state history, with fires damaging or destroying about four million Texas acres.

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