It may have a new leader, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency, blasted for its slow response to Hurricane Katrina, is still being criticized for tardiness. Oklahoma officials told TIME last week that it took FEMA 12 days to approve that state's request for comprehensive disaster assistance to combat wildfires that have charred nearly 400,000 acres since November. Oklahoma requested funds from FEMA on Dec. 30 for a variety of measures, including the pre-positioning of supplies and retardant-dropping planes from out of state. But neither Governor Brad Henry nor his state disaster chief could get calls returned from FEMA in Dallas. "You just would not believe what they have put us through," said a Republican Congressman from Oklahoma. Political leaders from both parties finally asked the White House to lean on the agency. The "full-court press," as Henry spokesman Paul Sund calls it, worked: the aid was approved last week. A FEMA official noted that the agency had okayed 24 smaller fire grants for the state and wanted to be sure the broader application for help was justified.