Ranchers donate hay to victims of escaped prescribed fire

Ranchers in western North Dakota will be donating hay to their fellow ranchers whose grazing lands burned April 3 after a prescribed fire escaped on the Grand River Ranger District of the Dakota Prairie National Grasslands in South Dakota. The prescribed fire conducted by the U.S. Forest Service was supposed to have been a 130-acre project, but it escaped control on a windy day and burned 10,800 acres southwest of Lemmon, South Dakota.

Some of the ranchers who will be donating hay received similar donations after a massive 1999 wildfire in McKenzie County and have not forgotten that kindness. They are also making arrangements to help rebuild some of the 64 miles of fence that was damaged in the fire.

Here is an excerpt from an article at FarmAndRanchGuide:

…There were 11 ranchers affected by the fire, some more than others and one who lost all his grass.

Frank Carroll, a retired Forest Service employee who specializes in filing damage claims, met with them this week to get the process started. The Forest Service has said it’s up to ranchers to pay their own damages and then file claims, a process that will take up to two years.

Carroll said one rancher lost 26 calves because cows had to be pushed from a burned hay yard out on to stubble, though other losses were less dramatic. He said fence damages alone tallies around $1.4 million and replacement hay and feed will be another cost.

The Grand River Grazing Association paid Carroll to spend Thursday and Friday with affected ranchers as a group and one on one, said secretary Cathy Evans.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.