Beaver Co. Firefighter, Farmer Rebuilding After Wildfires

Wednesday, March 22nd 2017, 7:32 pm
By: News 9

Thousands of hay bales are being donated to Northwest Oklahoma from people across the country. It’s to help farmers who were impacted by the state’s largest wildfire.

“Words can’t express how grateful we are,” said Britt Hilton, a farmer with Bar B’s Farm.

After the fire, his family lost 32,000 acres of land. This is about 85-percent of their property.

Britt is the 5th generation to take over the farm. His great-great-grandfather established it in 1896. With almost everything burnt from the wildfire, the family is now relying on donated hay to keep their cattle fed. He said each bale of hay is able to feed a calf for several weeks.

Britt’s family lost 35 heads of cattle and 150 miles of fence is also damaged, which replacing it would cost over $1,000,000.

He said those are replaceable, but there are things burnt that can’t be replaced. A home that his ancestors used to live in is burnt down. An old-school house next door is also destroyed.

During the fire, there was no way for Britt to protect his own farm. He is on the volunteer fire department in Gate, Oklahoma. Britt was one of the first firefighters in the front lines while his own property was burning.

“We were all on those fire trucks for about 40 hours straight,” he said.

His family is finally starting to rebuild.

“This recovery, I think, will take at least a year,” said Britt. And right now, he’s praying for Mother Nature to bring a little rain.