Texas Cut Volunteer Fire Dept. Spending 75%

According to KVUE (Austin ABC News affiliate) the state of Texas, with Rick Perry as governor, cut funding for volunteer fire departments from thirty million a year to just seven million. Volunteers reportedly make up about 80 percent of the firefighters in the state, and about ninety percent of the first responders for wildfires.

It wasn’t only volunteer fire departments that experienced cuts, however. The Texas Forest Service, also was faced with extensive budget cuts. In May it was reported they might lost $34 million in funding.

Yet the Forest Service is very involved in supporting the volunteer fire departments with training, equipment and grants. According to Reuters, the Texas Forest Service since 2002 has provided:

  • 44,000 sets of protective clothing,
  • 1,200 fire engines
  • training of about 34,000 firefighters.

No reasonable person would say the funding cuts caused the fires. It does appear they might have contributed to the duration and therefore the total amount of damage, simply due to the reduced support for firefighting activities.

One source says over 1,600 homes have been lost and over 120,000 acres have experienced fire in the recent situation.  This year in Texas, they reportedly have been over 18,000 fires impacting 3.5 million acres. There is so much smoke from the fires it can actually be seen from space. Astronaut Mike Fossum took the photo above, and posted it on Twitter.

Drought and wildfires are believed to be connected to climate change by many scientists. Because Governor Perry is running to be President of the United States, it is very important to be clear on his view of what is causing climate change. He says scientific research on the matter is inconclusive, and has been subject to data manipulation so researchers can receive more

“The science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet, to me, is just, is nonsense. … Find out what the science truly is before you start putting the American economy in jeopardy.” (Source: Discovery)

Because of the link between drought, wildfires and climate change, it seems reasonable to say that climate change is part of the very cost of natural disaster damages. So ignoring climate change in the future,  is likely to carry a very high price tag, though the Governor seems to repeatedly parrot the false notion that protecting the environment actually hurts the economy.

Image Credit: Mike Fossum

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Tim C.
Tim C6 years ago


Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago

Geezzzzzzz, I hope for their sake Texas has a wet and cool summer.

Nancy P.
Nancy P7 years ago

Why is it that the first things that the "government" cuts are the things most important to people and the services that support them; teachers, police, fire and social services. But.....the upper echelon of government never cuts their salary!

sandra m.
Past Member 7 years ago

Gee Whiz!...It doesn't get better there,does it!

Dana A.
Dana A7 years ago

Well I guess if he should ever have to call the fire dept for himself...they wont come. "put american economy at risk based on scientific theory" really???? Hey Rick how about for putting it at risk for religious theory...does that work better for you...what a dumbass

Chris Ray
Chris R7 years ago

Thanks Jake!~

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson7 years ago


Gayle J.
Gayle, J7 years ago

I hope the people in TX are happy that their state is burning down since they keep voting for slick Rick. I'm sure if his house was in the fire's path, he'd send out his private plane to collect the few firemen left in the state to make sure his precious house didn't burn to the ground. Hey, now he can put all his secession talk aside since there will only be a pile of dirt and ashes left where TX used to be. Poor Rick, guess he was last in line when God was passing out the brains.

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson7 years ago

By the way, since we're discussing Perry, did anybody else experience vertigo and nausea during the Republican debate as Perry Denied Climate Change then assurred us of his complete faith that EVERYONE Texas EXECUTES is Totally GUILTY? ( I've been petitioning and writing for MONTHS to try to keep a GEORGIA MAN from being executed altho HE is probably INNOCENT ) PERRY didn't get to explain his thinking on HIS EXECUTIVE ORDER requiring all Texas 12 year old girls to have the vacination against veneral disease. All we know is that public outrage got it recinded .Aparently the REAL concept was what a great idea The DRUG MANUFACTURER said it would be. Mothers didn't like to have the Governor in their daughter's privates.SO NEVER MIND!! I,Personally don't think this guy should be president of the PTA say NOTHING OF THE COUNTRY!