Many Ranchers Wiped out as Wildfires Race Across Western States

first_img Facebook Twitter Home Indiana Agriculture News Many Ranchers Wiped out as Wildfires Race Across Western States By Gary Truitt – Mar 13, 2017 SHARE SHARE Many Ranchers Wiped out as Wildfires Race Across Western StatesHundreds of thousands of acres of pastureland have been burned as wildfires roll across Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. High winds have made the fires hard to control. Losses by ranchers are staggering. Scarlett Hagins, with the Kansas Livestock Association, says many livestock operations are being burned to the ground, “There are currently 9 counties in Kansas with active wildfires, and there may be even more that are not yet reported.”   At least 600 square miles, mostly in Clark County, have burned in Kansas as powerful wind gusts have fanned the flames. There are reports of significant cattle losses as entire ranches were engulfed.A wildfire near Amarillo, TX, killed three people trying to save cattle. “I was disking trying to get a fire guard, and I had less than three minutes,” said David Boseldon, a rancher. “That wind was blowing 60 [miles an hour] or more. I was lucky. I got in my pickup and was able to get out of there. Just that quick, everything is engulfed.”In Oklahoma, the Governor’s office says 300,000 acres in three counties alone have burned. The largest of the fires spread from the Oklahoma Panhandle into southwest Kansas, and has consumed more than 800,000 acres of prime grassland. Todd Domer, of the Kansas Livestock Association, says the losses have been devastating. “Those in the hardest-hit areas have lost a considerable amount of fence, forage resources, harvested feed in terms of hay, and really an undetermined number of cattle at this point,” he stated. “And in addition to losing their livelihood in many of these cases, they’ve also lost their homes, outbuildings, and equipment.”KLA has set up a special web site to coordinate donations of hay and fence material, “The immediate need is hay, we are trying to get hay to the areas that need it,” said Hagins.  That web site is: https://www.kla.org/donationform.aspxHagins says the Colorado Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association all have funds for their respective states.U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, took the Senate floor on Monday to speak on the “historical and unprecedented wildfires” that struck southwest Kansas last week. Roberts toured the damaged areas this past weekend. “We have unimaginable damage to land and property, but also heart-wrenching scenes of cattle and wildlife burned, wounded, and wandering,” said Roberts. “On Friday, I drove south from Dodge City through range and ranchland I didn’t recognize. What used to be gently rolling prairie dotted with herds of cattle and crisscrossed by fencing is now reduced to blackened dust.” Roberts also asked the Trump Administration to quickly approve a federal disaster declaration. Following a conversation with Vice President Mike Pence last week, Roberts said he expected a disaster declaration within five days.Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and New Mexico have asked for a temporary suspension of grazing restrictions for farmers and ranchers. In a letter to acting Agriculture Secretary Mike Young, governors from the four states ask that the restrictions in the Conservation Reserve Program be lifted to provide more land for grazing. Federal programs providing aid in disasters such as wildfires include the Emergency Conservation Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Emergency Assistance for Livestock Program, and crop insurance. Previous articleClosing CommentsNext articleRyan Martin’s Indiana Ag Forecast for March 14, 2017 Gary Truitt Many Ranchers Wiped out as Wildfires Race Across Western States Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Bright new `star’ to appear in sky over next few weeks

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Houston Jones said “amateur astronomers love to look at Mars because it’s the only planet that you can look at from Earth and see surface features.’ For example, with a telescope, observers can see Mars’ ice caps and surface areas that reflect light differently. “You feel connected to something Earth-like and it’s our next-door neighbor,’ she said. The proximity is also good news for scientists and engineers working with NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers. Jake Matijevic, engineering team chief for rover operations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said the closeness means shorter communication times between Earth and the robotic geologists on Mars. Currently, light can travel round-trip between the two planets in about eight minutes. At the other extreme, the round-trip travel time can be 40 minutes. So during opposition, data comes down faster both directly from the rovers and from the Mars Odyssey Orbiter, which stores some of the rovers’ data for later transmission. “We’re getting more data and we have the ability to get it sooner,’ Matijevic said. A typical panoramic camera shot comprises 1 million bits. While the planets are close together, the rovers can transmit 28,000 bits per second, Matijevic said. At its slowest, that rate decreases to 4,000 bits per second. So the transfer rate can make a big difference in what information planning engineers and scientists have at a given point during the mission. The Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers will be set up to view Mars in Monrovia tonight from 9 until midnight near the Monrovia Library Park at the corner of Myrtle and Lime avenues. They will come to Old Pasadena at 6 p.m. Nov. 11 and will again set up in Monrovia on Nov. 12. LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE — Appearing as a bright, yellowish-orange “star’ in the night sky, Mars will be closer to the Earth tonight than it will be again until the summer of 2018. Through late October and early November, the Red Planet will afford astronomers both backyard and professional with enhanced viewing opportunities and will help NASA engineers get more data down from the Mars Rovers. “For Halloween, on Monday night, everyone who looks up in the sky even at about 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock will see a pumpkin-colored bright, bright star in the East,’ said Jane Houston Jones of the Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers. She and her husband, Morris, will have several telescopes set up in downtown Monrovia tonight for passers- by to catch magnified glances of Mars. Earth and Mars are entering a configuration astronomers call opposition, which brings the two planets close together. In this orientation, the Earth is sandwiched between the sun and Mars. This happens once every 26 months due to the differing orbits of the two planets as they travel around the sun. During opposition, earthlings see Mars rising in the East when the sun sets in the West. Tonight, Mars should be easily seen by 8 or 9 p.m., rising higher in the sky as night progresses. At its closest, Mars will be 43.1 million miles away. The planet should be visible earlier in the evening with the change to during standard time. In the summer of 2003, opposition occurred in a place along Mars’ elliptical orbit when the Red Planet was at its closest point to the sun. Earth and Mars won’t be as close as they were during that opposition again until August of 2287. The Griffith Observatory, along with the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers, will host free public star parties from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. Nov. 5 and 12 at the Griffith Observatory Satellite in the northeast corner of Griffith Park. For more information, go to www.otastro.org and www.griffithobs.org. Kimm Groshong can be reached at (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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