(KTEN) — Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford discussed the issues wildfires pose after weeks of recent devastation in Oklahoma and Texas. 

Lankford questioned state and federal officials Thursday during a Homeland Security hearing focusing on the issues wildfires bring to his home state.  

Over the past several weeks, western Oklahoma faced dozens of wildfires that were sparked in the Texas Panhandle. 

Oklahoma's senior senator highlighted one of his bills, the Direct Hire to Fight Fires Act introduced last November, that streamlines the hiring process for skilled firefighters while directing the Forest Service and Department of the Interior to identify policies and propose changes to reduce the time and complexity of hiring wildland firefighters and support personnel.

"So, for instance, in Oklahoma, our date of contracting for wildfire assistance begins on March the 1st," the Republican lawmaker said. "Did I mention that our wildfires came in on the end of February this year? And so just getting federal assistance to be able to come in because for our wildfires happen to come in before the contracting date set created additional problems for us. So, we do have some red tape we've got to be able to work through."

Lankford concluded his remarks saying this is a national issue, being a major cost for taxpayers and an even bigger cost to those impacted by the fire on the ground.