Red Cross Funds Dwindling After Weekend Grassfires in West Texas

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

Grassfires aren't just burning homes across West Texas, they're burning through funds to help fire victims. Now the Red Cross is sending out their own SOS, their funds are tapped out. As  NewsWest 9 found out, they're still planning to be there when the next disaster strikes.

In the last 72 hours, the fires in West Texas have displaced around 21 families and at least 16 families in Mitchell County.

"I've seen some big fires before my time and this is probably the largest one I seen. I have been in law enforcement 22 years," Mitchell County Sheriff, Patrick Toombs, said.

Not only is the Colorado City Fire keeping the local authorities busy but it's also keeping the Red Cross busy. That's because the Red Cross is in charge of covering 26 counties in West Texas and they have had been called in to help in six of those counties. But the fire that ripped through the most homes on Sunday was the fire in Colorado City.

"This is one of the largest grass fires that I have been a part of," James Parks ,Director of Emergency Services for the Red Cross, said.

Before the fires even broke out, Red Cross funding was critically low and with the numerous grassfires that broke out in West Texas, they are in desperate need of donations.

"Most definitely, it definitely hits your bottom line," Parks said.

And no matter how tight their budget might be, they will always be there when disaster strikes.

"If we didn't have a nickel in the bank, the Red Cross is still going to be there," Parks said.

Some local community members have found it in their heart to lend a hand. Fullers Grocery store will be giving gift cards to families who have lost everything. Fullers Grocery will also take Red Cross donations to help them during these though times.

"Volunteers and monetary donations, without those two, we don't exist. So that's when we have disasters like this, we like to recognize that," Parks said.

The American Red Cross will be stationed at the Mitchell County Library to help assist those affected by this past weekend's fires.