FEMA defends response on Texas wildfires

he federal government denied Texas a major disaster declaration because recovery needs from wildfires did not exceed what the state could handle, a federal emergency management official said Wednesday.

An assessment of damage from fires that scorched 2.2 million acres since November determined that Texas did not require assistance beyond the 22 federal fire management assistance grants already awarded to the state, according to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"FEMA has been in close contact with the state since the fires occurred, and based on the information they provided, it was determined that there was not a need for additional support at this time," FEMA spokeswoman Rachel Racusen said in a statement. "We will continue to work closely with the state and local emergency management officials."

The state has 30 days to appeal the decision.

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