Monday, March 20, 2017

Great Plains wildfire victims get aid; Texas Panhandle weekly chronicled fires and their impact

Photo by Sarah Long in The Canadian Record
An outpouring of aid from community members has poured in to help victims of wildfires in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and parts of southwestern Kansas that affected about 1.5 million acres of land, Russ Quinn and Virginia Harris report for DTN The Progressive Farmer. David Clawson, president of the Kansas Livestock Association, told Quinn, "We've been overwhelmed by the love of the ag community. The hay started rolling in before the fires were even out."

Quinn and Harris write, "Donations in the form of money, hay, fencing material, water tanks, portable corrals, feed, seeds and medicines have all been given in hopes of helping those devastated by these fires. Businesses, individuals and service organizations have donated labor and thousands of dollars of supplies and have lined up transportation of these items to the affected regions."

The Canadian Record, in the Texas Panhandle, ran a huge package on the fire with bif photos and comprehensive stories detailing its effect on Hemphill County. "The fires, though separated by miles, all shared one common thread: they were propelled by strong, gusty winds, at sustained speeds of 25 to 35 mph, gusting as high as 50-55 mph, and grazed ravenously on plentiful dry fuels," it reported.

The Record also chronicled the tragedy of a local man who died in the fire while trying to return home from work to make sure his pregnant wife was safe. Cade Kochs' mother Dana told the Record that he had the family's only car and was trying to get to his wife before roads were closed. Dana told the Record, that "Cade embarked on the 26-mile drive home," but she said, “He never checked in."

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