wildfire

There's a match going on, but this one is to help raise money for wildfire relief after more than a million and a half acres of crop and ranch land that was burned in four states.

Wildfires raged through parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas last month leaving cattle and other livestock dead and burning farmland and fences.

Howard Buffet, a philanthropist, farmer and rancher, has promised matching dollars up to a million for wildfirerelieffund.org.

Bryan Thompson / Harvest Public Media

Gena Kirk did not realize the largest wildfire in Kansas history was closing in on the Kirk Ranch in Clark County on March 6 until she got a call from her brother-in-law. After realizing that her herd was in danger, she jumped into her pickup and sped up the hill where several of her cattle were grazing.

As she herded her cattle onto a green wheat field that would not burn as easily as nearby dry grassland, winds gusting to 60 miles an hour fanned the flames quickly in her direction. 

Jennifer Bradford, flickr Creative Commons

Emergency grazing is now allowed on Conservation Reserve Program(CRP) lands in southwest Kansas. Ranchers suffered a huge loss of grazing area in the recent wildfires.

USDA Offers Additional Assistance To Wildfire Victims

Mar 22, 2017

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now offering additional assistance for farmers and ranchers affected by recent wildfires. More than 700,000 acres in 21 Kansas counties were scorched by a series of blazes that tore across the state.

The NRCS is offering $2 million in funding to restore cropland, rangeland, and forestland destroyed by the wildfires. The initiative also extends to Oklahoma, and Texas.

The agency is working with local conservation districts to identify specific concerns within various counties.

Reno County Fire District #6

Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill that will make it a little more affordable for people affected by wildfires to rebuild damaged fences.

The new Kansas law will create a sales tax exemption for materials purchased to replace burned fences. The bill moved incredibly fast, from a legislative perspective. The House and Senate approved it just last week.

There are programs at the federal level to help with recovery, but Gov. Brownback says this is something the state can do.

Reno County Fire District #6/Facebook

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is designating more than $6 million to help farmers and ranchers affected by recent wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The funding announced Tuesday will be distributed through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help restore grazing lands, rebuild fencing and protect damaged watersheds.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas says he is pleased USDA acted swiftly to aid producers recovering from the largest wildfire in state history.

Kansas National Guard / Facebook

The Kansas House has approved a bill to help farmers and ranchers rebuild after the recent wildfires. The proposal would create a sales tax exemption for materials purchased to replace burned fences.

Republican Rep. Ken Rahjes says there are federal programs that can assist farmers with some other losses, but this is one of the things the state can do to help.

Pat Roberts / Twitter

Clark County ranchers are beginning to assess their financial and livestock losses due to last week’s grass fires.

Clark County shares a border with Oklahoma.

The Ashland area is home to many family ranches that go back several generations, as well as some large commercial ranches, including the 21,000 acre Gardiner Angus Ranch.

Randall Spare of the Ashland Veterinary Clinic and his team have been helping ranchers dispose of cattle killed by the fire last week.

Spare says more than 3000 cattle have been lost in Clark County, and the number could grow.

Reno County Fire District #6 / Facebook

Many of the wildfires in Kansas are now under control--but not out--and as officials monitor hot spots in Clark, Comanche, Ellis and Rooks counties. Now, as KMUW's Aileen LeBlanc reports, recovery help is on the way.

Kansas National Guard / Facebook

There are a number of resources available to those affected by the recent rash of wildfires. Opportunities are also available for those who would like to volunteer.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) encourages farmers and ranchers who have lost livestock in the ongoing wildfires to contact the agency as soon as possible for assistance with the disposing of dead livestock.

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