9/6/2017 2:43:00 PM/Categories: Livestock, Wildfire
As the flames of the East Fork Fire in Hill and Blaine counties begin to fade, ranchers and community members are already hard at work trying to rebuild.
The fire burned over 21,000 acres in southern Hill and Blaine counties and the fact that it doesn’t even rank in the top ten largest fires in our state, just speaks to how devastating this summer has been for Montana.
Ranchers in the Bear Paw Mountains are now trying to find their scattered cattle and assess the damage. At this time, 15 family operations have been affected by the fire and are doing their best to start on the long road to recovery. The rugged country makes any sort of gathering or fence rebuilding a time-consuming process.
If you are interested in helping, Northern Ag Network will be updating this page with a list of what is needed and where you can help or donate. This summer has been one of the most trying for our state in years, but the outpouring of support from friends, neighbors and strangers has been amazing!
· An account has been set up through the Montana Stockgrowers foundation to aid livestock producers affected by the fire. 100% of the money received will go to the costs of rebuilding. The money will benefit affected ranchers to help replace fencing, water tanks, purchasing hay, etc.
· Funds will be distributed by the North Central Montana Stockgrowers Association.
· To donate send checks to Montana Stockgrowers Foundation 420 N California St, Helena, MT 59601 or to donate by credit card call 406-442-3420 and ask for Lorrie.
· Make sure to note that your donation is for the East Fork Fire.
· Monetary donations to the foundation are tax deductible.
· Funds can also be donated to purchase supplies and feed at CHS or North 40 Outfitters, please specify the funds are for the East Fork Fire.
· If you would like to donate supplies or hay please call or text Margo Pankratz at 406-357-2094 to coordinate drop-off.
· If you are a producer in the area that needs assistance please call or text Margo Pankratz at 406-357-2094.
MT Department of Ag:
· The fire and drought assistance hotline can also be a resource for producers. Call the hotline at 1-844-515-1571 or check their website http://agr.mt.gov/Fire-Drought-Assistance-2017.