Monday, April 03, 2017

NW OK Complex (April 3rd) - update 3 of 3 - losses

Last week I began writing a couple of posts with updates on the Northwest Oklahoma Complex of Fires that burned 779,292 acres and is at 100 percent containment on or about March 22nd. It is perhaps still early to assess the damage from these wildfires. But I want to give you an idea of what I have found. I need to say that I suspect that these numbers may change and I consider them preliminary. Further what I am writing about here do not include other areas of the Plains outside of the Northwest Oklahoma Complex that were also affected by wildfires in March 2017.

According to the last press release from inciweb for the NW OK Complex, dated March 21, 2017:
  • at least two civilians died as a result of this Complex of wildfires, one in Kansas and one in Oklahoma,
  • at least 8 homes were destroyed in Oklahoma and 34 residences in Kansas were destroyed with over 100 outbuildings destroyed or damaged in both states.
NewsOK reported in a April 2nd article that "an estimated 3,000 head of cattle and 6,500 hogs” have died. This same April 2nd article talks about preliminary economic impacts of these wildfires:
Although the total economic impact for fires across the state remains unknown, the preliminary estimate for the Northwest Oklahoma Complex fires is $16 million, with an estimated $14.6 million in damage to cattle operations alone. 
Geissler (note: Oklahoma State Forester George Geissler) said it's difficult to determine a dollar amount statewide, as the fires have affected different terrains. 
Grass fires have burned acres that are used to feed livestock but also have burned areas that have little to no economic importance. Acres of wooded areas have burned, causing a loss for lumber and paper mills in eastern Oklahoma, and thousands of miles of fence have been destroyed, which Geissler said costs about $10,000 per mile to install.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said (see this April 2nd report from 8ABC in Tulsa OK  that the US Department of Agriculture has approved an emergency loan program for livestock producers in Alfalfa, Beaver, Ellis, Harper Rogers Mills and Woodward Counties in Oklahoma and livestock producers in adjoining counties may be eligible for these loans as well.

For more information:

I offer my thoughts and prayers for all who were affected by the Northwest Oklahoma Complex as well as those affected by wildfires elsewhere in the Plains (Texas, other areas of Kansas and Oklahoma, Colorado, etc.).

No comments: