By Geneva Sands - 09/06/11 05:18 PM EDT
Presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he does not yet know whether he will attend Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate.
Perry took a detour from campaigning Monday to return to his state to oversee relief efforts in the wake of devastating wildfires.
Wednesday’s Reagan Centennial GOP Candidates Debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., was expected to be Perry's first opportunity to go head-to-head with the other GOP presidential candidates.
Perry deflected all political questions to focus instead on the wildfires in Texas.
"This is not the time to be talking about politics. There's another 14 months ahead to talk politics. Right now I'm substantially more focused on making sure that these people ... folks all across this state are being taken care of. Getting out of harms way, saving lives is the big issue for me right now," Perry told CBS.
Wildfires have destroyed more than 1,000 homes across the state. Perry said at a news conference that more than 100,000 acres have burned in Texas, according to The Associated Press.