Ongoing wildfires covering 12 counties north and northwest of Ft. Worth are devastating. Lives have been lost, an untold number of homes destroyed and Texas agriculture has taken a tremendous blow. Courageous firefighters are working to tackle this out of control inferno under the coordination of the State Operations Center.
Texas AgriLife Extension agents, along with personnel from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are currently undertaking an assessment on a county-by-county basis. No conclusive numbers are in yet, and according to emergency crews, as of Friday afternoon only 75 percent of the fires were contained.
We activated the Emergency Agriculture Communications Team, which is a broad spectrum of ag associations along with our state and federal partners.
While we know this has placed a terrible burden on producers in this area, we do not yet know the full extent of the damage and are hopeful all agencies involved will be providing their assessments sometime during the weekend.
Your team at the Texas Department of Agriculture is fully engaged and we will report back with more information as it becomes available. In the mean time, pray for rain.
NOTE TO ALL PRODUCERS in the impacted area: A Disaster Resource Information Packet is available and provides pertinent contact information for state, federal and private agricultural disaster assistance programs. Additionally, TDA offers producers assistance with finding hay through a Hay Hotline that can be reached at 1-877-429-1998. This is a great resource for those who have extra hay to sell or a pasture to lease, and for those who need hay. Information on both resources can be found at www.TexasAgriculture.gov.