Eastern Washington farmers affected by the recent wildfires are getting the help they need thanks to their fellow ranchers and a fleet of truck drivers.
Devastating wildfires swept across eastern Washington this summer, entirely destroying everything from large ranches to family farms. Now, ranchers and farmers from western Washington not affected by the wildfires are rallying together to bring much-needed supplies to the east, all with the help of truck drivers.
“Every bit of infrastructure is wiped out. Holding facilities, fences, cows, horses. It’s all gone. It’s all ash,” said Todd Macomber, who still works the Granite Falls farm his great-grandfather homesteaded over a century ago.
“There is no other way of life for them. They’ve been doing it for generations. It’s all they know,” Macomber said to K5 News. “Where do you turn? They’re just in survival mode.”
In the wake of this tragedy, organizations are rallying together to bring the farmers the food they need for the animals that survived the flames.
Through the Snohomish County Cattlemen Association, western Washington farmers have already sent over 70 tons of hay, with another 40 planned to ship over the weekend with the help of truck drivers to haul it through the mountains.
Duncan Farms in Chehalis and Emergency Equipment Solutions are taking donations for hay, dog food, cat food, and medical supplies. Even the children from local 4-H Clubs have donated the funds initially intended for county fairs cancelled by coronavirus to help in the efforts.
A convoy of semi trucks left for the Okanogan County Fairgrounds Friday morning, September 18th with loads of hay, food, and supplies. Some trucks will even be making deliveries to the farmers who lost their vehicles in the inferno and cannot make it to the fairgrounds for pickup.
“It is going to take no less than 110 semi-trucks of hay/haylage to cover food needs for the livestock animals until 2021 when spring grass comes in,” organizer Laura Dobson said.
The groups plan to keep up the donation efforts until all of the farmers are stable once again, and truckers are the ones who will keep their donations moving across the mountains to those who need it.