MIDLAND, Texas, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With wildfires raging in the Midland area, Apache Corporation (NYSE,Nasdaq: APA) is lending a much-needed helping hand by donating fire trucks to the Northeast Midland County Volunteer Fire Department and the Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department.
Apache also is donating $50,000 to the American Red Cross of Southwest Texas to help victims of the wildfires in West Texas.
"We felt this was a prime opportunity for Apache to step up and contribute to our community, especially in light of the destructive wildfires we have been experiencing," said Permian Region Vice President John Christmann.
Apache has been operating in the Permian Region for 20 years.
More than 30 homes in the Midland area have been destroyed by wildfires sparked by the state's severe drought conditions. About 150 people have been displaced. Damage to property, livestock and infrastructure across thousands of charred acres has been widespread. Overall, fires in West Texas have spread to portions of 36 counties.
The trucks donated by Apache are a Ford F650 Diesel and a Ford F750 Diesel that are being outfitted for firefighting with special flatbeds with water tanks and pumps.
Midland Mayor Wes Perry expressed his appreciation for the fire truck donations.
"It shows (Apache's) corporate responsibility and generosity, and it is a great example for others to see," Perry said.
Fire Chiefs Mat McClure of the Northeast Midland County VFD and Leland Hart of the Greenwood VFD said the fire trucks are badly needed.
"It means a great deal to us," McClure said. "It will really bolster our ability to fight these wildfires breathing down our necks."
McClure said the donated fire truck replaces a truck his department lost after it blew an engine while fighting a large fire. There was "no way" his department had the funds to replace the truck, he said, and the volunteer firefighters often have to pay for equipment repairs out of their own pockets.
The Northeast Midland County VFD serves about 10,000 people in a 150-square-mile area of Midland County. It also provides support to other fire agencies in a broader area involving some 370,000 residents.
Hart said the new fire truck will provide much-needed support for his department, especially after losing a truck in a recent rollover accident en route to a fire.
"This is going to be a tremendous help," he said. "With the wildfires, getting this new truck is vital in helping us protect our communities."
The Greenwood VFD serves about 15,000 residents in 675 square miles of Midland County and provides support to all six surrounding counties.
Of the $50,000 Apache is donating to the American Red Cross of Southwest Texas, $25,000 is coming from its Permian Region office in Midland and $25,000 from its Houston corporate headquarters.
The American Red Cross of Southwest Texas recently reported it has received about $100,000 in donations for West Texas disaster relief, which includes victims of the wildfires.
Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom North Sea, Australia and Argentina. Apache common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and quoted on the NASDAQ National Market under the symbol APA. Apache posts announcements, updates and investor information, in addition to copies of all recent press releases, on its website www.apachecorp.com.
SOURCE Apache Corporation