ICYMI: Sen. Marshall Questions SBA’s Slow Response to March Fires in Central Kansas

(Overland Park, KS, July 18, 2022) – During a recent hearing in the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. questioned Francisco Sanchez, Jr., the Associate Administrator for the Office of Disaster Assistance at the Small Business Administration (SBA), about the agency’s response to March fires in Reno and Harvey Counties. While you may click HERE or on the image below to hear Senator Marshall’s full line of questioning, he said in part,

“Kansas doesn’t have huge hurricanes worth billions of dollars of damage. Typically, we have lots of smaller disasters. It’s a tornado impacting a town two or three different times a year and we have had our share of wildfires as well. While the Disaster Office has been there for each event, it has come at an incredibly slow pace. For example, after fires in Reno and Harvey Counties in March, the SBA resource center wasn’t set up until April 28 – nearly 7 weeks later. My constituents can’t wait 7 weeks for assistance after these disasters.”


In March 2021, a wildfire in the Hutchinson, KS are was responsible for the destruction of dozens of homes and buildings, as well as over 100 vehicles. It is estimated this fire burned over 12,000 acres of land. Although firefighters contained the fire after a few days, the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance did not set up a resource center for Kansans affected by the fires until April 28. The SBA did not receive a disaster declaration request from Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s office until April 21, 2022.