Kansas Ranchers Paying It Forward

Sep 10, 2017

Credit Courtesy photo

As smoke from Montana and Wyoming makes its way across the High Plains, Kansas ranchers impacted by wildfires earlier this year are paying it forward.

As The Hutch News reports, six months ago, Clark County rancher Steve Hazen was on the receiving end as truckloads of hay and supplies came from all directions to his hometown of Ashland.

Now he and others along the southern Kansas border, where more than 500,000 acres burned during the March 6 Starbuck fire, are returning the kindness.

With fires still raging in Montana, Hazen and four others from the area – all part of the Ashes to Ashes project - recently drove a thousand miles to deliver alfalfa and wire to two ranches near Sand Springs, Montana - one hit by the wildfire, another hurt by severe drought.

The project was started by Blake and Levi Smith, from just across the Oklahoma border who lost 150 cows, 65 calves and miles of fences to the Starbuck fire. Since the pair took a load of hay to Montana in mid-August, nearly 40 people donated money and supplies for the second trip to Montana.