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34 Complex Fire reduces family home to ashes but not the human spirit

Family loses home. Drop-off locations set up to help producers in need.

While the 34 Complex Fire and Rhea Fire in western Oklahoma may have reduced some homes and livestock to ashes, they did not destroy the human spirit. OSU Extension offices have set up eight drop-off locations throughout Woodward and Dewey counties where countless donations of feed, hay and other supplies are being collected and distributed for producers in need. 

Combined the two fires consumed nearly 350,000 acres in the neighboring Oklahoma counties. Homeowners Al and Joann Comstock lost their two-story farmhouse in the 34 Complex Fire April 19. 

“We lost our house and garage shed but we saved the barn. We lost a few cows but most of our cows survived. We’re ok...everybody is ok,” says Al, who was headed to Stillwater with his wife when they got the call. “We arrived in Stillwater and they said the house was going to burn so we turned around and came back.

“It’s tough.”

See Supplies needed for Oklahoma wildfire recovery effort, transportation of donations big need as well.

To donate or to request agricultural-related products, contact the OSU Hay Hotline at:

  • 405-397-7912
  • 405-590-0106
  • 405-496-9329

Monetary donations may also be sent to:

  • Oklahoma Cattleman’s Foundation- www.okcattlemen.org, 405-235-4392, P.O. Box 82395, Oklahoma City, OK 73148. *
  • Oklahoma Farmers and Ranchers Foundation- www.okfarmingandranching.org, 2501 N. Stiles, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. *
  • Oklahoma Farmers Union Foundation- P.O. Box 24000, Oklahoma City, OK 73124.*

*If writing a check, make the check payable to the organization’s name with “Fire Relief” in the memo line.

Educational resources detailing everything from the proper ways to dispose of dead livestock to post-wildfire home cleanup and post-disaster safety are available through each OSU Cooperative Extension county office, and online at http://www.oces.okstate.edu.

To connect with other ranchers and resources and to learn about wildfires throughout the U.S., go to 2017-2018 Wildfire & Disaster Relief Info: USA nationwide Ag Community, a Facebook group spearheaded by eastern Oklahoma ranchers Caleb and Melanie Pennebaker.

See, Oklahoma fires leave houses in ashes, kill livestock.

 

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