PAMPA, TX (KFDA) - Farmers and ranchers across the panhandle are now having to rebuild, as the fires took land and livestock. Now people from all around the country are lending a helping hand.
This week's wildfires have taken land, cattle, homes and lives. But they have not taken people's spirits. Thousands of donated bales of hay are making it to the panhandle to feed cattle, as pasture has been destroyed.
"If you run cattle, you have to have the pasture," says Lance Weaver with Capital Farm Credit. "When we don't get rain, we don't have grass and when fire comes through it devastates the earth, we don't have anything to feed the cattle. So we've had a lot of producers in fact there's one right now that are donating hay from various different places in the state as well as outside of the united states to help get these guys and their cattle back fed so that they don't lose their livelihood."
"There is thousands of bales of hay here that have come in in the last 24 hours. Crews tirelessly coming off of fires, coming and volunteering their time to even unload this. And it's coming in from all over," says Gray County Commissioner Gary Willoughby.
Many of these people donating do not want recognition, they just want to make sure the ag family can rebuild. This drop-off location is in Pampa at the Gray County Bull Barn, but there are others in Hemphill County on the south side of the animal nutrition building and Lipscomb County. An account is also set up at Happy State Bank to aid with fences and other necessities.
Drivers are needed, though donations like tractors and other supplies continue to pour in. Weaver wants producers to know they have 30 days to file a claim with FSA if they need disaster relief.
"It's nice to have friends across the United States that are willing to jump in and recognize the pain that we're going through," says Weaver.
"You know it's a beautiful testimony and it's awesome how God works and seeing this many people come together is unbelievable," says Willoughby.
If you are interested in donating, or are in need of a bale of hay, you can visit any of the locations throughout the day or click here.
Employees at Vetericyn left California early this morning and are coming with "as much product and as long as it takes" to help with burned animals. You can contact Ramey Keith at 806-548-0066 if you are interested.
And Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter the Chairman of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TXDMV) suspending the permitting requirements, legal height restrictions and associated permit fees for carriers transporting round bales of hay to Carson, Gray, Hemphill, Lipscomb, Ochiltree, Potter, Roberts and Wheeler counties. This waiver applies to these eight counties as well as any Texas county through which transport is necessary to reach the disaster response area.
"Due to the ongoing disaster caused by wildfires, livestock producers in these counties are experiencing forage and hay shortages," reads the letter. "To facilitate the transportation and to ensure that state regulation is not an unnecessary barrier to the emergency transport of hay, I hereby direct you to suspend the permitting requirements and legal height restriction for cylindrical (round) hay bales, as well as associated permit fees, for carriers transporting round bales of hay to these counties."