Creek County wildfires consume hay and pastures ranchers and livestock need

CREEK COUNTY, Okla. - Oklahoma's wildfires have claimed the livelihood of many farmers and ranchers in Creek County.

About $18,000 worth of hay sits smoldering on Darrell Harger's property. It's hay that was supposed to feed Harger's cattle well into next spring.

"I've worked for years to try to establish a little something and now it's gone. Just within a matter of hours, it's gone," said Harger.

He's already had to sell off about half of his cattle, quickly and cheaply.

"Nothing to eat, no water, so I got a hold of some guys. Guys came and volunteered and helped me and they didn't charge me anything to get the cattle out," said Harger.

Unless he gets some hay soon, he may have to sell the rest of them, essentially leaving him without a source of income.  

"It's very devastating, I've never had it like this in my life," said Harger.

Harger's story is similar to many around Creek County.

"For those people that are burned out, they don't have anything to feed those animals," said Sherman Grubb, the director at the Creek County OSU Extension Office.

Employees at the Creek County OSU Extension Office are asking for hay and feed donations for cattle, horses, goats and other animals.

But they aren't getting much of a response.

"Of course the drought is everywhere, seems like, so hay supplies are short to start with," said Grubb.

They currently have no hay on-site, but some has been promised.

Grubb says he's compiling a list of farmers and ranchers with a need, including Harger.  

"I did call the extension office yesterday and they were telling that there's been no response and they said they put my name on the list," said Harger.

Harger knows he lucky, he didn't lose his home, but he lost his way of life.

"I have worked for 20-25 years to build this herd and it's gone in just a few hours," said Harger.

To donate you can drop off hay or feed at the Creek County Fairgrounds in Kellyville at 17808 W. Hwy 66. You can also call (918) 224-2192 and they will coordinate a pick up from your home.

If you need to sign up for help call (918) 224-2192.

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