PULLMAN, Wash. — Wildfire notwithstanding, livestock have to eat, and Dave Bragg, director of the Washington State University Extension office in Garfield County, is helping coordinate efforts to get hay for cattle displaced by the School Fire about 15 miles south of Pomeroy.
Some 2000 head have been moved to the east side of the county, Bragg said, about 200 head a day.
Since last Friday, the fire has scorched nearly 50,000 acres in southeastern Washington, including summer grazing allotments in the Umatilla National Forest.
“Some areas will have to be re-seeded to reclaim the land and prevent erosion. We have no idea when the Forest Service will reopen the forest,” Bragg said. “Next year could be tough without summer pasture.”
Meanwhile, offers of hay and pasture are coming in.
“We have an offer from people in Elgin, Ore., to provide free grass hay for the cattle affected,” Bragg said. “I also have directed one rancher to a person with free pasture in Oregon.”
The School Fire — actually multiple fires, according to Bragg — started last Saturday, according to news reports, when a branch fell on a power line in School Canyon south of Pomeroy.
Ranchers needing help or who can help provide hay or pasture can call (509) 843-3701.
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