HEMPHILL COUNTY, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — One week after a wildfire started in Hemphill County, a handful of families were without their homes and others have lost a significant amount of property. Now, the community is rallying to help those in need.
“We have approximately eight to nine families who are…there’s about three families displaced,” said Tanya Holloway, the Family and Community Health Agent for the Hemphill County Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office.
Holloway said that several local groups came together to create a disaster relief task force. They have representatives from nearly all public entities to assess the need and they are also taking donations.
“At this time we’re running those through First Baptist Church of Canadian our 501 C three and our ministerial alliance that’s all connected so that people if they want to make donations, they can send those there,” said Holloway.
She also said several people lost barns and outbuildings and are in need of hay, feed, and fencing.
“And then these people who lost their homes, you know, I can’t even begin to imagine, you start all over. Because most, there’s about three of them that there’s nothing left. There was nothing salvageable from it,” she said.
Holloway said their task force has mental health resources and licensed counselors on standby.
“Thank goodness we didn’t lose human life in our fire this time, but we’ve lost things lost memories lost, things like that and that that’s still it’s you grieve from doing that. So for the people that the here that have dealt with that or just the stress of of getting all the smoke damage out of their house or you know, there’s so many things but our hospital’s on standby completely for everyone who has had those issues,” said Holloway.
Kiley Murray, the Executive Director of the American Red Cross Texas Panhandle Chapter, said they have already helped two families whose homes were completely destroyed in the fire, and they have appointments with two more families already on the books.
“When you lose everything from from a fire tornado or whatever it is, the Red Cross comes in with those first responders and as the first responders leave, you’re kind of left there wondering what to do. And that’s what our Red Cross volunteers do. So first and foremost, we need volunteers in areas. And then secondly, we need we need partners and donors. For those folks that continue to fund our mission and that money goes right back out the door to the families that need it,” said Murray.
The Texas cattle feeders association is also supporting fire victims through the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Disaster Relief Fund in the form of a monetary donation.
Those wanting to donate to the disaster relief fund can send checks to First Baptist Church in Canadian at P.O. Box 717.
Those affected by the fires who need resources need to make a request to the American Red Cross.