Southwest Kansas Ranchers Impacted By Wildfires To Receive Federal Funding

Aug 11, 2017

Credit LT. SETH FRIZZELL / HOLCOMB COMMUNITY FIRE DEPARTMENT

Kansas ranchers impacted by wildfires could receive more than $18 million in federal funds for fencing lost in the Starbuck wildfire, which began in Oklahoma and spread into southwest Kansas on March 6.

As The Hutch News reports, the fire burned over 660,000 acres in Kansas and Oklahoma and 500,000 acres in Clark, Comanche and Meade Counties making it the largest in Kansas history.

425,000 acres burned in Clark County alone, resulting in over $44 million in losses, according to Millie Fudge, the county’s emergency preparedness coordinator, which include about 4,100 miles of fencing worth $41 million.

All told, Kansas had more than 711,000 acres burned in early March, due to dry conditions, strong winds and low humidity, according to the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

Carla Wikoff, agriculture program specialist with the Kansas Farm Service Agency, said that about 18 or 19 counties requested roughly $24.5 million through the federal Emergency Conservation Program. The state received the funding from Washington for the majority of the counties several weeks ago.

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