Lt. Gov. Dewhurst says he will sign fire disaster declaration

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst says he will sign fire disaster declaration

Credit: AP

Gov. Rick Perry, left, arrives for a news conference to discuss wild fires in central Texas, Monday, Sept. 5, 2011, in Bastrop, Texas. A roaring wildfire raced unchecked Monday through rain-starved farm and ranchland in Texas, destroying nearly 500 homes during a rapid advance fanned in part by howling winds from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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Associated Press

Posted on September 7, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 7 at 11:34 PM

AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says he will sign a request for the federal government to declare Texas a major disaster area due to the rash of destructive wildfires.

Dewhurst, acting as the state's chief executive while Gov. Rick Perry was out of state, planned to sign the document on Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Rick Perry left the presidential campaign trail and returned to the state earlier this week because of the fires, but on Wednesday he headed to California to participate in a GOP debate.

Dewhurst said Perry is "doing what he needs to be doing. I think we're in good shape."

Still, Dewhurst noted that firefighters were stretched thin and need additional resources, including bulldozers and other heavy equipment.

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