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Update on Texas Fires

The 101 Ranch Fire in Possum Kingdom is 85 percent contained and as far as we can ascertain, St. Peter's by the Lake Episcopal Church is unharmed.

Communications Director Katie Sherrod is seeking information on how we might help. Many parishes have been raising money to help replace equipment destroyed in the fires in the spring. That effort is even more important now, since the Legislature cut funds to volunteer fire departments and those cuts went into effect this month. Those funds would have been used to replace destroyed, used or outdated equipment and to help with expenses incurred by the volunteer firefighters who use their own vehicles to get to and from fires. So if your parish has been raising funds for the Possum Kingdom Complex fire departments, please continue that effort.

Other ways to help—from news reports:

PALO PINTO COUNTY — As firefighters in Palo Pinto County work to fully contain the 101 Ranch fire, stories of heroism and selflessness are emerging from the ashes. One volunteer firefighter with the Possum Kingdom East VFD watched his home burn, yet continued to fight to try to save the homes belonging to his neighbors.

Ed and Nancy Shelton lost everything to this week's flames, but they remain strong in their determination to carry on. A relief effort, spearheaded by Tony Greer, a volunteer firefighter out of Princeton, is now in full swing with donations coming in from other firefighters, stores, companies, and cities.

If you would like to make a donation to help the Sheltons, you can do so at any Wells Fargo bank branch in North Texas. Reference the "Ed and Nancy Shelton Fire Relief Fund."

If you would like to donate items, you can contact Tony at 972-302-4538, or visit the Ed and Nancy Shelton Fire Relief Fundraiser page on Facebook.

Help for the Diocese of Texas.

The Bastrop fire has destroyed the home of the Rev. Lisa Hines, rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Bastrop, and those of many other Episcopalians.

Carol Barnwell, communications director for the Diocese of Texas said, "We set up a blog with updates on our website (http://www.epicenter.org/texas-wildfires/). Camp Allen was evacuated this morning voluntarily-there are fires to the east of it that are threatening a very densely populated area. All the animals and vehicles were moved off site and they are installing sprinklers on the roof as a precaution. This link:  http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/?sat=1 will give you a view of how far away the fires are— not so much if the wind changes. Camp Allen is at FM 362 and just north of FM 2979 on this map."

Carol said the cuts in funding are being felt and that one of the big needs is "fuel $$ for these guys who are using their own vehicles to get back and forth. In East Texas especially. Other needs are Walmart cards for evacuees.

"We are taking a number of them to Lisa Hines in Bastrop tomorrow—saline solution, new socks, baby wipes—all for firefighters in the Bastrop area. This is the largest of the fires, although the one near Camp Allen is very big as well.

"The bishop said today that the one in Bastrop (just south of Austin) is as large as inside Loop 610 that circles Houston. I drove through Bastrop area Tuesday and didn't get very close-roads were closed and they wouldn't let me through. Went up to Waco and through East Texas on the way back to Houston and went through large amounts of smoke everywhere.

"The donation button on our website is down (someone tried to hack into Monk's system) and they hope to have it up by this evening but we are doing paypal if you call in…800.318.4452 to make a donation til that gets back up.

We are posting and tweeting updates …"

Pray for rain.