Recovery underway in area hit by wildfire

Nearly 2 million acres were burned, including thousands of miles of fences, some facilities and rangeland. Thousands of cattle were lost and thousands more had to be sold or relocated because nothing was left for them to eat. Tragically, seven lives were also lost to the fires.

Thanks to a few timely rains and some warm weather, grasslands are recovering in the Texas High Plains following a devastating wildfire that roared through West Texas, western Oklahoma and Kansas in early March.

Nearly 2 million acres were burned, including thousands of miles of fences, some facilities and rangeland. Thousands of cattle were lost and thousands more had to be sold or relocated because nothing was left for them to eat. Tragically, seven lives were also lost to the fires.

A massive relief effort brought hay, feed, fencing, veterinary supplies, and, even more important, hope, into these devastated areas. Supplies and monetary donations came in from across the country as ranchers looked at the losses and realized that the same could happen to them.

‘It gave me new hope for our country,” said Hemphill County Extension Agent Andy Holloway.

Southwest Farm Press editor Ron Smith drove up in the Panhandle in May to check on recovery. These photographs show the resiliency of Mother Nature. The fortitude and persistence of the people in these areas is unimaginable.

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