Generosity of others offers a silver lining to otherwise tragic aftermath of wildfires

Mar 14, 2017

Credit ARAH NISHIMUTA / Woodward News

When confronted with the level of tragedy wrought by last week’s wildfires, it is difficult to find a silver lining, but the generosity of others is providing just that.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, residents of Ashland, which was encircled by a fire that has burned over 60 percent of Clark County, Kansas, have been serving up to 600 meals per day to firefighters battling the blaze.

And the show of support doesn’t end there. The Wichita Eagle also reports that kind-hearted souls have been offering up acres of good grass for surviving cattle to graze, a feedlot in Cimarron offered to feed 1,000 head of cattle at cost, and others have offered to help with the grim task of cleaning up dead or injured cattle.

A local lumber company and bank each offered several thousand dollars in monetary assistance, as well.

With help from state or federal sources could be months to years away, the instantaneous help from ordinary, everyday folks – many farmers and ranchers themselves - was invaluable.

One such farmer, Brian Schmeekle of Pierceville, loaded up his semi rig with 30 huge bales of hay that had been donated by a friend and drove it to Clark County on Thursday.