One year and more than one million dollars later, recovery efforts are ongoing for victims of last year’s deadly wildfires.
Those funds raised jointly by the Amarillo Area Foundation and the Working Ranch Cowboys Association have benefited 61 ranchers, but it was not exclusive to our area.
When AAF gave WRCA $70,000, the latter dispersed the funds among 12 counties in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
AAF’s President and CEO, Clay Stribling, told us the game plan for this year is dependent on the extent of the loss we see.
He said the issue we saw last year was almost exclusively related to rangeland impacted by the wildfire.
Stribling said we had a variety of different fires pop up primarily in the northeast portion of the Panhandle, and as those fires came up, he said we had a significant loss of livestock, fencing and even some loss of life.
This year we have already seen early signs of how bad our wildfires can get. That is why he said the organization’s Panhandle Disaster Relief Fund is up and running at all times.
“This kind of snuck up on us a little bit this year, as early in the year as it is, and as early as what’s usually our fire season as this is,” said Stribling. “We weren’t really ready for something like this, and so it’s just a reminder to get everybody out there and start donating to the disaster relief fund so they’re ready to respond.”
Stribling told us funds will be allocated to ranchers and property owners.
Last year he said they had some funds benefiting volunteer fire departments, but as time goes on, he said they will start to look at other disasters affecting our area, like tornados.
To donate to the Panhandle Disaster Relief Fund, click here.