Two men have died from injuries suffered in wildfires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres across Kansas this week.
Fierce winds sparked a slew of wildfires, as some ranchers lost their homes, barns and livestock. Around Paradise, Kan., there are some ranch families who say there is nothing left as the fires robbed them of their homes and a portion of their herd.
Bar S Ranch in Paradise, Kan., was one of the operations hardest hit. They lost a portion of their herd, structures on their ranch and even their home.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she says. “Everything my family worked for over the last 140 years is gone.
“Every piece of land we own or rent has been taken out by fire.
“We lost all of our hay and feed supply for the year for our cows.”
Stephanie says they lost their house, barns and all of their show equipment and animals.
In total, she says their ranch lost approximately 200 head of cows, calves and herd bulls.
“My family’s home and the home that we used to live in up at the feedlot. I mean farm equipment, it’s just gone. I haven’t seen the full extent of it,” said Grady Dickerson, the son of the owners of Bar S Ranch.
The fires started Wednesday. Winds clocked in in excess of 100 mph, and down power lines sparked the series of fires.
Bar S Ranch was one that was in the fire’s path, and their ranch burned to the ground.
Reports show the smoke from the Kansas fires could be smelled as far east as central Missouri and as far north as Minnesota.
It’s still unknown how many livestock were lost in the fires.
Wildfire smoke from distant fires in the plains reached Michigan this morning, providing a smoky smell and a reddish sunrise. Fortunately, the smoke duration here is expected to be brief as the wind direction shifts today. #wmiwx #miwx pic.twitter.com/cTCF1jwqm4
— NWS Grand Rapids (@NWSGrandRapids) December 16, 2021
“I don’t think I’ve seen my dad shaken up before, just that scared,” Dickerson told KWCH. “I mean, we’re still scrambling trying to figure out what is okay and what isn’t. There’s just so much stuff that’s unaccounted for right now.”
Neighboring Kansas farmers and ranchers have rushed in to help with the efforts this week.
The Kansas Livestock Association is working to deploy resources, as LMA says there are four collection and distribution points for supply donations of hay, stockwater tanks, fencing supplies and more.
“DUST BOWL 2021” This video from Main Street in Elkhart, Kan. is just one example of the severe conditions wind and dust are creating across Kansas. https://t.co/RaVNioniQB #kwch12 #storm12 #kswx pic.twitter.com/n2QJdzX0RJ
— KWCH Eyewitness News (@KWCH12) December 15, 2021
LMA says for those who would like to contribute with cash donations, those contributions can be made through the Kansas Livestock Foundation by going to www.kla.org and clicking on donate or sending a check, with “wildfire relief” written in the memo line, to:
Kansas Livestock Foundation
6031 S.W. 37th
Topeka, KS 66614
LMA says all proceeds will be used to help those affected by the recent weather event.
It will take several days to determine how many acres burned and to completely contain the blazes and make the areas safe. [AgWeb]
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