Green Country Ranchers Collecting What They Can For Wildfire Victims

Friday, March 17th 2017, 10:56 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Ranchers across Green Country are helping with wildfire relief as hay deliveries are stacking up in Creek County.

They're gathering hay and fencing supplies and trucking it more than 200 miles to western Oklahoma and Kansas.

It took one trip out there to convince a rancher from Kellyville that the need was so great he had to do more.

In addition to the hay already in Creek County, there's a similar effort in Stroud.

The hay is loaded on trailers and there's more ready to be loaded at the Creek County Fairgrounds.

It's just plain grass hay, but where it's going there's no grass, and little hay, after wildfires burned nearly a million acres.

Pastures were consumed, cattle were killed and ranchers with surviving cattle have nothing to feed them.

Last weekend, Creek County Rancher Grant Ellingson went out there with a few truckloads of hay.

"Equipment and everything, they lost about 600 head of mama cows and that's their whole living, it's gone," Ellingson said.

And what he saw convinced him to try to do more.

“If people just don't forget that it's the middle of March and the grass won't start out there for their cattle if they don't get rain for a month, so they'll need hay for a month or two,” he said.

That's why they're setting up for a longer operation - opening the Creek County fairgrounds for donations of hay and fencing supplies.

This weekend they'll deliver 350 to 400 bales in two trips on Saturday and Sunday.

Ellingson said, "And we're delivering to the individuals, and not to a drop zone because we want to see the need and see where the supplies are going and meet the people we're getting involved with."

Ranchers are still hoping to get donations to keep hay going out to the wildfire areas for the next month or two until the pastures started growing.

Anyone can drop off donations at the Creek County fairgrounds, almost anytime. They make a delivery Saturday, another Sunday and go back next weekend with more.