The Kansas State Extension office in Kiowa County has been administering donations of hay bales to farmers in Comanche and Clark counties who have been affected by the recent fires.
As of Monday, March 13, farmers in Kiowa County had sent at least 20 to 25 truck loads of hay at about 30 bales a piece to affected farmers in the region, said Barrett Smith, K-State extension agent for agriculture in Kiowa County.
“The amount of people who have been affected is immense,” Smith said. “It affected everyone in those communities. I would say all of Clark County and west Comanche County were drastically impacted.”
More than 600,000 thousand acres have burned from Kansas into Oklahoma and an excess of at least 3,000 cattle have been killed, Smith said.
People have never before seen fires on this scale in Kansas, Smith said.
In addition to hay bales, farmers in the devastated counties will receive chass milk for baby calves that have lost their mothers and crews to replace fencing that has been destroyed.
For the people receiving help, the experience can be humbling, Smith said. But , Smith added, people of Kiowa County are helping those impacted by disaster in neighboring counties just as they were there for the people of Greensburg after the tornado nearly 10 years ago.
“A lot of the ranchers have a lot of pride and are better at giving than they are receiving,” he said.
For farmers to receive monetary relief, it is important that they contact the Farm Service Agency at (620) 723-2146, Smith said.