Wildfire Victims To Receive $450K Divided Among 69 Beef Producers

Tuesday, July 17th 2018, 10:59 am
By: News 9

It's been a record setting year for wildfires across the state and aid is still pouring in for victims.

The Oklahoma Cattleman's Foundation Fire Relief Fund donated nearly half a million dollars to Ranchers in northwest Oklahoma. According to Cattlemen's Foundation, the money was all donated funds and went to 69 different beef producers.

There was an application process for the assistance, and It was all evaluated by a group of industry leaders.Two people died and an estimated 1500 cattle were killed in this spring's wildfires.Those fires burned nearly 350,000 acres.

Weston Givens, the President of the Oklahoma's Cattlemen's Association expressed how important it is to get these rancher back on their feet.

"Creating the relief fund and facilitating the distribution process most assuredly contributes to the foundation's goal of preserving the beef business here in Oklahoma," Givens said. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration is also offering small business loans for those affected.

The Oklahoma State Forester, Mark Goeller said it doesn't take much of a dry spell to turn rich green grass into dry fuel. 

"We can see things change so radically here we can have tremendous rainfall all kinds of wonderful rains and moisture that allows our vegetation to sustain growth, then it can turn around and be dry as a bone for weeks on weeks on end and then that vegetation becomes where it can sustain combustion."

Forestry leaders say property owners can help limit risk by keeping dry vegetation and brush or firewood away from their property.