More money is coming into Kansas to help ranchers recover from its largest and second-largest wildfires.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture announced the State Conservation Commission has approved the creation of the Kansas Wildfire Cost Share Initiative. This will provide funding in the amount of $200,000 for specific recovery expenses for the wildfires in 2017 and the Anderson Creek fire in 2016.
The commission approved the action in September to work with local conservation districts in supporting the recovery efforts, according to a press release.
Funds from the initiative are to be targeted at livestock water supplies, cross fencing, grass seeding, windbreaks and obstruction removal.
Wildfires spread across Kansas in March. Among the worst hit was more than 500,000 acres in Clark, Meade and Comanche counties - making it the state's largest wildfire. Officials estimate that more than 4,000 miles of fencing was lost, as well as 3,000 to 9,000 head of cattle and countless homes, outbuildings and equipment.
Other areas in Kansas also were hit by other wildfires, including Lane, Reno and Rooks.
In 2016, nearly 400,000 acres burned in Barber and Comanche counties. It is now the state's second-largest wildfire.
The following counties are eligible areas for the initiative: Barber, Clark, Comanche, Ellis, Ellsworth, Ford, Hodgeman, Lane, Lincoln, McPherson, Meade, Ness, Reno, Rice, Rooks, Russell, Seward and Smith.
Landowners in the eligible counties are urged to contact their local county conservation district to apply for the Kansas Wildfire Cost Share Initiative. Applications can be submitted through Oct. 31. County Conservation District contact information can be found at agriculture.ks.gov/ConservationDistricts.
Questions regarding the Kansas Wildfire Cost Share Initiative may be directed to David Jones, with the department of agriculture, at David.Jones@ks.gov or 785-564-6623.