One thing you can always count on in times of crisis is that farmers and ranchers will step up to help where they can, and their friends and family in urban areas will add what they can to the effort.
The devastating wildfires of the first week of March stand to test the resources that are available to help as fire victims in more than 20 counties try to rebuild their lives after losing livestock, homes, personal possessions, vehicles and outbuildings.
Fires, pushed by winds of up to 50 mph, burned out of control for much of the week of March 6. A truck driver was killed when his semi jack-knifed out of control and overturned in Clark County. Smoke inhalation took his life as he tried to escape the area where the accident occurred.
In an effort to help fire victims, Kansas Farm Bureau is offering to connect those who need help with those who can provide it. Go to kfb.org/firerelief to access the site connecting those who are donating supplies like fencing and building materials and labor to those in need.
"We used this technology last year during the Anderson Creek Fire,” says Rich Felts, president of Kansas Farm Bureau. “It was utilized heavily during that fire event so we’re bringing it back.”
Farm Bureau encourages those who want to donate and help in the rebuilding process to go to kfb.org/firerelief so resources can be implemented efficiently.
“We know the farming community is a tightknit family, and neighbors want to help neighbors,” Felts says. “We want to do what we can to connect help to those who need it.”
For those wanting to donate hay or money, Kansas Farm Bureau encourages people to contact the Kansas Livestock Association at 785-273-5115. Checks can be mailed to the Kansas Livestock Foundation at 6031 SW 37th St., Topeka, KS 66614. “Fire relief fund” should be written in the memo line.
People wishing to help with the fire recovery effort can also donate cash to relief agencies such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Mennonite Housing or local churches and charities helping families affected by the fires.