Douglas, Lincoln County Ranchers Need Help After Fires [VIDEO]
They grab headlines for a few days or a week, then the news cycle moves on. But for the farmers, ranchers, citizens and others in badly burned areas of Eastern and Central WA, some of the worst is now coming.
We've talked with a number of citizens and groups in Lincoln and Douglas County, learning that the recent spate of fires have destroyed not just homes and buildings but even worse, thousands of acres of ag and ranch lands.
Okanogan County was a little more 'ready' for this, as they've seen a few BIG ones the last few years. But sources tell us it's been a long time since Douglas and Lincoln Counties have had fires this bad, and it hit them hard, as it did in Whitman County as well.
One of the hardest parts now is once the fires are over, the 'media' has moved on, and it's difficult to get the word out about relief efforts.
On the new page Lincoln County Rancher Relief, one person said "I'd rather it burned the house than this, our ranch."
Aside from cattle losses (deaths etc) ranchers are now having to try to find ways to feed their cattle, and repair the damage done to graze lands. It's estimated the typical cow or bovine needs around 25lbs. of hay or feed a day to remain healthy; or at least strong enough to remain viable for sale. That's their livelihood.
Ranchers in Douglas and Lincoln County are now finding out the fires were so hot they scorched the ground itself, and it may take 2-3 years before they can regrow useful grazing land.
Barns, haystacks, buildings, fence lines and more were destroyed in numerous blazes. Cattle have been displaced, and ranchers-farmers now searching for hay and feed to keep their animals going. There's also the issue of hundreds of other ranch and farm animals, including dogs etc. who are missing, displaced or need help and care.
It's estimated in Lincoln County alone, at least 12 massive ranches were affected or more or less destoyed.
These ranchers and ag folks are not directly in our backyards, but they're looking for whatever help they can get. To see more of the relief efforts, click on the buttons below.
Some are actual groups, others are people who have helped take the 'lead' in trying to coordinate and help with relif.