WALL, S.D. – It’s been almost three weeks since the Cottonwood Fire scorched more than 60 square miles of prairie east of Wall. The fire killed nearly three hundred head of cattle. In the aftermath, Governor Dennis Dauggard issued an emergency disaster declaration to help those affected in Jackson county. Thursday, South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem met with ranch families affected by the blaze.
“You know, I think one thing people don’t realize is how this effects producers mentally. I spent my life raising cattle too, and you love your cattle. You take care of them, you take pride in your herd. And they watched them burn up and die. And some of them got injured to the point where they had to destroy them later,” said Rep. Kristi Noem (R).
Falling beef prices have compounded the loss of livestock for ranch families. Saturday November 5, there’s a benefit barbecue at the Philip Fire Hall. All funds raised through good-will donations will go to the Cottonwood Fire Rancher’s Relief Fund.