'Beef will skyrocket': Texas Panhandle wildfires have killed a devastating number of livestock

Texas wildfires by is licensed under YouTube
LUBBOCK, TX- As the wildfires in Texas continue to burn in the panhandle, including the largest wildfire in state history, stark realities are coming into view. Homes and land have been destroyed, and there has been a “catastrophic effect” on livestock.

KCBD reports that “the cattle loss is only expected to increase as ranchers return to their land.” This is devasting news for the largest cattle producing state in the nation.

The president of Texas Farm Bureau, Russell Boening, said that agriculture organizations statewide are working to determine how many head of livestock have been lost. “It is so early right now to really assess quite frankly how bad it is,” he noted.

“That is a very high cattle producing area of our state there are a lot of folks that run cattle in those areas that are effected and have cattle. It’s a little bit I guess I will use the word scary to even think about what it could be,” Boening added.

As work continues to get the fires under control, the next feat according to Boening, is relocating remaining livestock to better grazing land.

Boening said, “Someone who is maybe not effected that is maybe 40, 50 maybe 60 miles away that may have some grazing land agriculture is resilient, agriculture is very much about helping your neighbor and sometimes your neighbor is 100 miles away.”

The Texas wildfires began igniting on February 26, 2024. Warm, dry, and windy conditions have made it difficult for crews to contain the fires.

According to Texas A&M Forest Service, there are a total of five active wildfires in the Texas Panhandle:
  •          The Windy Deuce fire in Moore County has burned 142,000 acres so far and is 60% contained.
  •          The Magenta fire in Oldham County has burned 1,078,086 acres so far and is 85% contained.
  •          The 687 Reamer fire in Hutchinson County has burned 2,000 acres so far and is 10% contained.
  •          The Smokehouse Creek fire in Hutchinson County has burned 3,297 acres so far and is 60% contained.
  •          The Grapevine Creek fire in Gray County has burned 30,000 acres so far and is 60% contained.
 In addition to losing homes and land, those impacted have also lost their livelihoods.

The Texas Farm Bureau has set up a fund to help farmers and ranchers impacted by these devastating fires. Texas Panhandle Wildfire Relief Fund will assist with the losses of homes, barns, fences, and livestock.
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