Ranchers in Motley county get relief from wildfires - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Ranchers in Motley county get relief from wildfires

By Tiffany Pelt - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Ranchers in Motley County impacted by the massive wildfires got some much needed help on Saturday with 34 round bales of coastal hay being donated from hundreds of miles away.

Last Sunday the fires scorched 40,000 acres destroying miles of fence and land for grazing. "The Matador Ranch is roughly 130,000 acres, and we estimate that we lost approximately 20,000 acres," said John Russell, Matador Ranch cattle company assistant manager. "We also lost eight or 10 head of cattle to the fire. As bad as it was, it could've been a lot worse."

While the Matador Ranch has several bales of hay that survived the fires, Russell says many of his neighbors are hurting and welcomed the much appreciated donations that came from four hours away.

"We came in from Spring Town, Texas. It's about 220 miles away," said Michael Cornelius, one of the men who brought the hay. "Ronnie Westberry, he furnished all our fuel to come out and his four year old actually told him those people need our hay; so we gathered up some, and we brought it."

The bales were donated from several organizations and individuals and will be divided among those in Motley County who lost their land. Each bale weighs between 800 and 1,200 pounds and all together cost more than $1,700.

"This hay will definitely be able to help those guys to be able to sustain their cow numbers, and be able to sustain their livelihood," said Russell.

While the group of men brought 34 bales, they say they wish they could've done more. "We were going to try to bring 60, but this is what we brought so far. We've had fires around our places so everybody knows how it is to try to help everybody out," said Cornelius.

"I'm really appreciative to the people who donated their time and labor and resources to bring this in here to help us out. It speaks strongly of the country we live in," said Russell.

Copyright 2011 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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