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Eastland County Fire Relief Update

June 08, 2022

Eastland County Fire Relief Update

As of June 8, 2022

The Community Foundation of Abilene and Eastland Community Foundation have granted another $200,000 from the Eastland County Fire Relief Fund to repair and rebuild homes damaged in the Eastland Complex fires in March.

These grants went to the United Rescue Alliance (URA), which is the agency appointed by Eastland County Judge Rex Fields to manage relief and recovery efforts in the field (see more below). URA will conduct assessments and use the funds to pay for needs such as home rebuilding, plumbing repairs, electrical work, etc.

The total amount granted for relief and recovery so far is $270,000. The fund has raised a total of nearly $520,000, leaving $244,000 to be granted out. We anticipate these remaining funds will go out in the next several weeks to meet more recovery needs.

For a more detailed overview of how funds are being used and how the disaster response process works, see our recap below.


Fund Purpose & Partnership

The Community Foundation of Abilene (CFA) and Eastland Community Foundation (ECF) created the Eastland County Fire Relief Fund to provide a secure way for people to donate to support victims and volunteer fire departments affected by the Eastland Complex fires in March of 2022.

The fires burned more than 50,000 acres of land, destroyed more than 80 homes, and led to the passing of an Eastland County Sheriff’s deputy.


Communities Served

Grants from this fund are designated to meet needs related to fires in several Eastland County communities, including the towns of Carbon, Gorman, Rising Star, Eastland, and surrounding areas.


Total Funds and Grants

The CFA and ECF have granted a total of around $270,000 from the fund so far. $30k has been used for immediate relief needs; $200k is for long-term rebuilding and repairs; and $40k went to Eastland County volunteer fire departments.

The fund has raised a total of nearly $520,000, leaving around $244,000 to be granted out. These remaining funds will likely go out by mid-summer as more recovery needs are assessed.

How Funds are Used

100% of donations to this fund will be used for fire relief in Eastland County.

Grants from this fund only go to nonprofit organizations and volunteer fire departments. IRS rules restrict community foundations from making grants to individual people.

Grants support three primary purposes:

Immediate relief – These funds provide quick assistance after a disaster to help people with essential needs such as food, temporary shelter, and clothing. We typically grant these dollars to the nonprofit appointed to lead disaster response in the field (in this case, URA). Crews from the agency conduct assessments and quickly use funds to help people with urgent needs.

An example of how the agency might provide immediate relief includes providing victims with gift cards to purchase groceries and vouchers for hotel stays.

We deployed funds to URA within three days of the fires to quickly begin meeting essential needs for people who experienced loss.

Long-term recovery – These funds support the rebuilding and restoration projects that require more detailed assessments and time to complete. We typically grant these dollars to one or more nonprofit agencies working to assess victims’ needs and deploy funds according to the greatest unmet needs. The agency typically prioritizes helping people in the most vulnerable situations first, such as uninsured, low-income families.

An example of how the agency might use funds for recovery includes paying companies and contractors to rebuild homes, repair plumbing, and restore electrical wiring.

Volunteer fire departments – These funds go to VFDs that responded to the fires and need funding for equipment repair and maintenance, operational support, and other unmet needs related to the disaster response.

Emergency Management and United Rescue Alliance Roles

In many Texas counties, the county judge serves as the emergency management coordinator. Soon after the fires broke out, Eastland County Judge Rex Fields appointed the United Rescue Alliance as the agency to lead the disaster response process.

The URA is an international disaster and crisis response organization headquartered in the Abilene, Texas region. Their team is trained to assess a community’s needs following a disaster and determine how to effectively and efficiently use funds to meet as many unmet needs as possible.

For more information on URA’s assessment process and/or how to contact them for assistance, click here.

As a side note, URA suffered its own property damage and loss in the Mesquite Heat fire. They are headquartered on the historic Camp Barkeley training area where 500 acres burned, and they lost several buildings on the property.

Other Fire Relief Funds

March wildfires also caused damage in other Big Country communities, including Coleman and Brown counties. CFA has other fire relief funds serving these communities.

Then, just two months following the Eastland Complex Fires, the Mesquite Heat fire broke out in the View, Texas region southwest of Abilene. This fire burned more than 10,000 acres and dozens of homes and buildings.

We have a separate Big Country Fire Relief Fund to provide support for needs related to the Mesquite Heat fire, and the URA is also leading disaster response efforts in this community.


We are indescribably grateful to everyone who has donated to support all of the communities affected by these devastating fires, and we are thankful for the volunteer firefighters who worked tirelessly to keep people safe.

We also want to thank URA’s crews for the countless hours of service they have contributed in order to provide organized relief to the communities that need it most.


If you have any questions related to CFA’s fire relief funds or other services, our team is happy to have a conversation. Please contact us any time at or 325-676-3883.

Other News

CFA grants more than $543k during 2024 spring grant cycle

See the list of local organizations awarded.

2024 Abilene Gives sets new giving record

See who tops the list; final grand total announced June 30

CFA grants more than $200k during 2024 VFD grant cycle

19 volunteer fire departments receive grant awards