Three people died in the Texas Panhandle on Monday while trying to save cattle and horses from wildfires burning across the plains. More than 23,000 acres burned near Amarillo, and more than 150 homes were threatened.
A fourth person died in the Texas Panhandle from a fire near the Oklahoma border that has burned more than 156 square miles.
In Colorado, a fire in Logan County burned more than 45 square miles and threatened nearly 1,000 homes while forcing the evacuation of three schools.
Kansas authorities say wildfires burned 625 square miles in Kansas on Monday, damaging dozens of structures and causing the evacuation of thousands of residents.
The largest fire burned about 545 square miles in Clark County in southwest Kansas. In Reno County, Kansas Department of Emergency Management Katie Horner says 10,000 to 12,000 people voluntarily evacuated their homes on Monday night. She said 66 people were in shelters Tuesday in Hutchinson as crews continued to battle the fires.
The Kansas Livestock Association says wildfires in more than 20 Kansas counties prompted KLA to begin accepting donations of feed, fencing supplies and cash for affected ranchers. Those in the hardest hit areas lost a considerable amount of fence, forage resources, harvested feed and an undetermined number of cattle. Ranch homes and outbuildings also were among the losses.
The Clark County fire forced the evacuation of the 76 residents on Englewood and Ashland’s 850 residents Monday afternoon. The home of Mark and Eva Gardiner, Gardiner Angus Ranch, west of Ashland, was one of the structures destroyed by the fire.
Authorities said the fire started in Oklahoma before it crossed into southwest Clark County, and the high winds made the fire unstoppable.
At least 30 structures were damaged and bridges were compromised.
Further north in Kansas, Interstate 70 was closed between Russell and Sylvan Grove due to smoke and limited visibility.
To make in-kind donations of hay and fencing materials to those affected in Kansas, call KLA at 785-273-5115.
Cash donations can be made through the Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF), KLA's charitable arm, by going to www.kla.org/donationform.aspx. Stockgrowers Bank of Ashland has donated $25,000 to KLF as seed money for the relief effort. Donations will be used to assist ranchers affected by wildfire. KLF is a 501 c(3) organization. Donations to the foundation are tax deductible.
Donations for Oklahoma producers can be made by making checks out to Oklahoma Cattlemen's Foundation and putting "Fire Relief" in the memo line and send to P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148. To donate online, visit www.okcattlemen.org.
To aid producers in Colorado, checks can be made payable to Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation. Please note Disaster Fund-CO Wildfire in the memo line on the check. Cash and credit card payments are being accepted by Colorado Farm Bureau, too. Cash and checks can be sent to:
Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation
Attn: Disaster Fund
9177 E. Mineral Circle
Centennial, CO 80112
In Texas, Capital Farm Credit has links to several resources in the state to aid producers.
There are a number of hay donations going on in Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma, as well. We'll have more information on donations as it is released,
Click the icons above to learn more about active fires. Find the full National Fire Situational Awareness map here.