Kansas Wildfires

Kansas Wildfire March 2017 Photo Credit: Travis Morisse/The Hutchinson News via AP

Yesterday I loaded pallets of fence posts, barbed wire and bottled water on a trailer pulled by two farmers in a pickup truck.

They were bound for Kansas where wildfires fed by wind gusting at 70 m.p.h. burned 650,000 acres and killed thousands of cattle during calving season.

Tens of thousands of miles of fence need to be replaced. The home, farm and auto supply store where I work donated the items for Kansas ranchers in the aftermath of this month’s record-setting wildfires.

Farmers and ranchers re-earned the state its motto, Ad Astra Per Aspera (To the Stars Through Difficulty).

“We had the perfect storm,” Todd Domer of the Kansas Livestock Association said to CNN. “We had a wet summer and then kind of a dry winter and then you get wind on top of that and then anything that’s flammable will spark.”

The Kansas plains had become a tinderbox.

“It looks like the moonscape,” Domer said. “It just looks like a big sand beach that’s endless.”

I hope our small Iowa contribution will help ranchers recover from the worst wildfires in Kansas history.

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