Kansas Wildfires Causes Suspension of Grazing Restrictions

Ranchers affected by fires are offered relief from USDA

Cattle graze by a wildfire near Protection, Kan., early Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Grass fires fanned by gusting winds scorched swaths of Kansas grassland Monday, forcing the evacuations of several towns and the closure of some roads. (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP)

 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Ranchers in three states affected by wildfires have been given a temporary suspension of grazing restrictions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program lands in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

The agency says wildfires in Kansas burned about 630,000 acres with estimated livestock losses of between 3,000 and 9,000 cattle. About $36 million worth of fencing was also destroyed.

In Oklahoma, where nearly 390,000 acres burned, the livestock loss was estimated at 3,000 head of cattle. Structure losses were estimated at $2 million with fencing losses at $22 million.

Texas ranchers lost at least 3,000 cattle and 1,900 swine when some 550,000 acres burned.

Acting Secretary of Agriculture Mike Young says ranchers are facing devastating conditions and economic calamity and need some relief.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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