WHEREAS, I have been advised by the Director, State Emergency Management Agency that a natural disaster of major proportions has occurred throughout the South Central Region of Missouri and has been affected by large fires, high winds and dry conditions affecting several communities in the State; and

WHEREAS, damage to and loss of property and interruption of public services are occurring as a result of the fires beginning March 7, 2000 and continuing; and

WHEREAS, protection of the safety and welfare of the citizens in the affected communities and their property requires an invocation of the provisions of Section 44.100, RSMo, 1999; and

WHEREAS, local officials report that 44 fires destroyed many homes and structures south of the Lake of the Ozarks; and

WHEREAS, the Division of Fire Safety activated the State-wide Fire Mutual Aid System March 8, 2000 and reports that 31 departments, 75 pieces of equipment and over 250 firefighters have been dispatched to the South Central Region of the state; and

WHEREAS, Camden County has opened two shelters in Camdenton and Laurie, although the majority of families evacuated due to the fire found shelter with relatives; and

WHEREAS, a SEMA liaison is working with county officials to assess the damage to residents affected by the fires and also to the firefighters; and

WHEREAS, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are providing assistance to residents affected by the fires and also to the firefighters; and

WHEREAS, the Missouri Department of Conservation is working several fires in the Phelps County and City of Sullivan areas; and

WHEREAS, Natural cover fires have also been fought in Warren, Lincoln, Callaway, Cole and Boone Counties with several requiring mutual aid assistance from neighboring fire departments.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mel Carnahan, Governor of the State of Missouri, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitutions and laws of the State of Missouri, do hereby declare a State of Emergency exists in the State of Missouri. The following counties are hereby declared disaster areas and any additional counties that the Director, State Emergency Management Agency may designate to the Governor prior to the expiration of this Executive Order: Camden, Morgan, Miller, Dallas, Laclede, Benton, Hickory, St. Clair and Henry Counties. I do hereby direct that the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan be activated. I further authorize the use of state agencies to provide support to the affected areas.

This order shall terminated on April 9, 2000, unless extended in whole or in part.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 10th day of March, 2000.

[Mel Carnahan's signature]



[Rebecca McDowell Cook's signature]

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