AMARILLO – Even if ranchers were able to move their livestock away from the racing flames, damages continue to mount as ashes pile up behind the wildfires that have blackened terrain across the state, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
Whether it is the estimated 2,000 acres in Young County or the 191,000 acres so far in Presidio and Jeff Davis counties, ranchers are losing valuable grass and fencing, not to mention livestock, according to Dr. Andy Vestal, director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Program for AgriLife Extension.
Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension livestock marketing specialist in College Station, said the damages as a result of the wildfires will rise into the millions of dollars as ranchers look at anywhere from $10,000-$12,000 per mile to replace fence, and having to feed cattle where pastures were lost.
Almost 1 million acres of Texas has burned recently in the numerous wildfires, according to the Texas Forest Service.
Just how many miles of fence must be replaced in that acreage, as well as how many livestock are injured or dead, might not be known for a week or more after the fires are all put out, Vestal said.
“Some of these wildfires are still raging and entrance for loss assessment purposes is limited to some extent,” he said.
But AgriLife Extension agents across the state are working with the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Animal Health Commission, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Texas Independent Cattlemen’s Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association and Texas CattleWomen to set up livestock supply points in six different locations.
The Texas Department of Agriculture recently announced donations can be made also to the State of Texas Agriculture Relief, or STAR, Fund. The STAR Fund may be used to rebuild fences, restore operations and pay for other agricultural relief efforts. Monetary donations can be made by visiting www.TexasAgriculture.gov and clicking on STAR Fund under “Most Popular Links.”
The Texas Department of Agriculture Hay and Grazing Hotline is a service also being offered to help locate forage and hay supplies. The online link to it also can be found on the agency’s website and clicking on “Disaster Assistance.”
Vestal said while hay distribution points have been established and hay is being donated, there’s a problem in some areas finding transportation to get hay from the donation location to the livestock supply points.
Individuals willing to help transport hay are also encouraged to contact the different county agents in charge of these livestock supply points, Vestal said.
Those with hay or fencing materials to donate, or with equipment to help haul hay, should contact the following supply points and individuals:
Google Map of all supply points: livestocksupplypoints.texaseden.org
- Fisher County Fairgrounds, Roby – Riley Barnett, AgriLife Extension agent for Fisher County, 325-776-3259; 325-338-3557, email@example.com
- Palo Pinto County Livestock Supply Point, Dempsey Heliport, 1348 Palo Pinto Hwy, Palo Pinto - Scott Mauney, AgriLife Extension agent in Palo Pinto County, 940-659-1228 or 940-659-8693, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Leslie Neve, AgriLife Extension agent for Stephens County, 254-559-2313, 254-246-0803 or email@example.com
- Tom Green County Livestock Supply Point, 200 West 43rd Street, San Angelo – Steve Sturtz, AgriLife Extension, Tom Green County, 325-659-6524 or 325-895-1063, firstname.lastname@example.org; or Brittni Kaczyk, San Angelo Stock Show and Rodeo livestock show director, 325-653-5622.
- Eastland County Livestock Supply Point, Eastland County Fairgrounds, 475 Hwy. 3101, Eastland – Brian Perry, Eastland County Livestock Raisers Association president, 245-631-977; or Heath Begeman, AgriLife Extension agent in Eastland County, 254-629-2222 or 254-629-1093, email@example.com .
- Stonewall County Livestock Supply Point, Stonewall County Fairgrounds, Hwy. 380, Aspermont – Jason Miller, AgriLife Extension agent for Stonewall County, 940-989-3510 or 806-445-5056, firstname.lastname@example.org ; or TSCRA Special Ranger Scott Williamson, 940-889-2269.
- Jeff Davis/Presidio County Livestock Supply Point, Evans Ranch, 1 mile south of Ft. Davis, off Hwy. 118 – Logan Boswell, AgriLife Extension agent for Brewster/Jeff Davis counties, 432-437-6207 or email@example.com; or Jesse Lea Schneider, AgriLife Extension agent for Presidio County, 432-295-0342; or TSCRA Special Ranger Bobby Upchurch, 432-837-2143.
- Pecos County Livestock Supply Point, C&T Feed Store, Hwy. 190 in Iraan – Charlie and Theresa Brown, 432-639-6029; or Norman Fryar, AgriLife Extension agent, Pecos County, 432-336-2541 or firstname.lastname@example.org ; or TSCRA Special Ranger Bobby Upchurch, 432-837-2143.