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March 17, 2006   Email to Friend 

TEXAS FARM BUREAU SEEKS HELP FOR FARMERS, RANCHERS IN WAKE OF WILDFIRES
Gene Hall
(254) 751-2246
March 17, 2006

WACO, Texas --  In the wake of devastating wildfires sweeping the Texas Panhandle, Texas Farm Bureau is asking fellow farmers and ranchers for help.

As of Monday morning, seven people had died and more than 700,000 acres were consumed, according to reports from the Texas Forest Service.

News reports said the wall of flames -- fueled at times by as much as 55-mph winds -- literally burned livestock where they stood in some places. The flames came so quickly they simply weren't able to make a run for it. Firemen continue to battle the blaze as north winds feed the flames.

"There's just incredible devastation everywhere for the people living up here," said Brandon Wheeler, agency manager in the Gray-Roberts County Farm Bureau office.

Much of current ranch grazing is lost, Wheeler said, and so are many of the cattle. For those that remain, hay supplies are nonexistent.

In an effort to help the many farmers and ranchers living in the Northern Panhandle, Wheeler has opened his office doors to accept donations of all sorts, including hay, fence posts and wire, not to mention personal items and monetary contributions for families, as many lost homes and barns in the wildfires as well.

Those wishing to help are encouraged to contact the Gray-Roberts county office in Pampa at (806) 665-8451. For more information on the TFB Wildfire Assistance Program, log on to the Texas Farm Bureau website at www.txfb.org.


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