Massive wildfires have blackened about a million acres in southeast Oregon, killing countless cattle and horses and leaving no grazing land for struggling ranches that remain.
But help is on the way to struggling ranchers from the business community and fellow cattlemen. A convoy of 17 donated tractor-trailer trucks loaded with 500 tons of hay left Burns, Oregon yesterday morning in route to fire-affected families and businesses.
The donated hay, worth $75,000 is enough to feed about 1,000 cattle for 30 days and was donated by a local business that wished to remain anonymous.
The Oregon Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) organized the convoy when its fire relief fund received the generous donation.
The current market rate for hauling hay is $30 per ton, making the per truck donation about $900. For this one day effort the trucking community’s gift will exceed $15,000, 204 hours of volunteer work, and 5150 miles of driving.
Lightning caused the range fires, which started in early July and are still only 25 percent contained.
Charitable donations of cash or in-kind contributions (including hay, supplies, transportation, and livestock relocation options) are being accepted online, via phone, or in person at the OCA office. Contact Kay Teisl at 503-361-8941 or [email protected] or visit www.orcattle.com/make-a-donation.