Sen. James Lankford travels to western Oklahoma to meet wildfire victims, see damage

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DEWEY COUNTY, Okla. - U.S. Senator James Lankford traveled to western Oklahoma on Friday to meet with those impacted by the wildfires and see the damage first hand.

“The sheer size of it, the volume of it, sticks with you," said Lankford. "And, so you see things like - just drive mile, after mile, after mile and it’s burned.”

Donna Patkowski says the fire took everything from her.

"My life is like, destroyed," said Patkowski. "Our place was burnt down to the ground. We've lost everything we own. Everything."

Dewey County Commissioner Junior Salisbury says the man who baptized him died because of the fire. He says the man had a stroke as he was evacuating.

"I’m going to a good man’s funeral," said Salisbury. "But, it’s having time - everything’s caught up with me. It’s happened to our friends, our loved ones. It’s just, everybody’s kind of like family to me out here.”

Countless donations have poured into the disaster zone.

“What I’ve seen and what I’ve heard is beyond what you can actually describe," said Lankford. "It’s a lot of families helping each other and neighbors helping neighbors as we’ve seen in Oklahoma a lot.”

Lankford also says he's working to get more assistance.

“So, we’re working through several areas," he said. "The USDA, obviously Farm Services, we’re working through a federal disaster relief request.”

But it's no easy task.

"We can lose 400 miles of land and a number of homes, but they’re going to evaluate how many homes and how does that fit in. So, we’re going to try to work through that process for federal disaster relief" said Lankford.


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