Mar 19, 2017

Recent Texas wildfire damages estimated to be at least $21 million

Gray County, TX
Lynn Brezosky
Houston Chronicle

Texas ranchers suffered at least $21 million in agricultural damages last week from wildfires that blackened more than 1.4 million acres of rangeland in Texas and three other Plains states, an economist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service said this week.

Steve Amosson, the economist, said that comprised $6.1 million in lost pasture land, $6.1 million in lost or damaged fencing, $3.8 million in lost buildings and corrals, $4 million in livestock death losses and $1 million for emergency hay and feed.

He said the longer-term impact could depend on how the remaining 13,000 to 14,000 cattle in the path of the fire will be fed amid depleted grazing land.


As of Wednesday, the Texas Animal Health Commission had tallied 2,500 head of cattle and 1,900 swine lost to fires in Texas, in addition to "an untold number of wildlife," TAHC spokesman Thomas Swafford said. Ranchers were also dealing with cattle that may suffer long-term from smoke inhalation or other fire-related health issues.