Arizona Agriculture Bands Together to Fight Fire

July 8, 2011 05:30 AM

Arizona is among several southwestern states plagued with fire this season, burning thousands of miles of land. Scorched by wildfire, Arizona is suffering severe effects of fire on their economy including a massive and historic dust storm that tore through Phoenix yesterday. Fires have devoured over a million acres of land, most of which is used for grazing livestock.

Burning Fields

Photo via Howard G. Buffett

Lacking pastureland, Arizona ranchers were stuck in a bind because they had no way to feed their animals, until their friends and neighbors came to the rescue.

Farmers  and ranchers are banning together to overcome the crippling effects of the flames. The Good Samaritans are being organized by the Arizona Farm Bureau and have stepped in to provide hope to those who felt hopeless.

"In the face of a tragedy such as these wildfires, we have to do what we need to do to help our friends in the agricultural industry," says Kevin Rogers AZFB President.  

Once the Wallow Fire, one of the three devastating Arizona fires this summer, began burning out of control, the Arizona Farm Bureau realized they needed to do something to help local farmers and ranchers. By mid-June the Wallow Fire had officially topped a half million acres and cost the state $30 million by June 14, according to the Arizona Farm Bureau (AZFB).


Photo via Howard G. Buffett

Knowing that the Horseshow Two Fire in Cochise County, which started in early May, had cost the state $28 million and the Monument Fire in Southern Arizona had begun burning, the organization was determined to gather aid for affected ranchers who are dealing with not only short term effects of displaced livestock, but the long term concern of lack of pasture.

Pitching in to Help

Farmers from across Arizona pooled their resources to bring hay to ranchers affected by the fires. They donated everything from hay and hay squeezes, trucks and even drivers.  The ranching community is receiving help outside of the agriculture industry as well in the form of fuel and transportation.

"It is incredible to see the agricultural industry come together to help our friends in need," says Rogers.

To date more than 40 individuals from more than seven counties in Arizona have donated an estimated $200,000 in hay for Arizona livestock according to AZFB. Crews continue to battle fires throughout Arizona.

Fire Crews

Photo via Howard G. Buffett

To learn more or to donate contact Arizona Farm Bureau Federation.


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