Rural Issue

Wildfire damages top $25 million

A Texas ag economist expects wildfire damages to total more than $25 million in the Great Plains.

“That obviously is going to put a hurt on a lot of these ranchers, but we also lost four people in this fire and there’s not much you can do about that.”

Steve Amosson with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service tells Brownfield more than 540,000 acres have burned in Texas as of his last count Friday.  “That fire danger is going to remain high until we can get some sustained rains in here that will dampen things down to keep things under control.”

Amosson says ideal growing conditions last year left much of the landscape this winter covered with grass and after more than a month without rain and very dry conditions, the risk of fire has been extreme.

He says 2006 Panhandle complex fires which burned across a million acres were the largest in Texas’ history. While the acreage count isn’t that high this year, total damages could be more than three-quarters of the 2006 fire.

AUDIO: Interview with Steve Amosson

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