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Missouri farmers lending a helping hand to ranchers devastated by wildfires in Kansas and Oklahoma

LABADIE, MO (KPLR) - Some first responders say it’s the most widespread disaster they have ever seen.  More than a million acres have burned in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.  Wildfires killed cattle, destroyed fencing and burned down homes.

The wildfires have sparked a Missouri group to help. St. Louis Area Aid for Ranchers Devastated by Wildfires has already made one trip west.

“These people are suffering and they need as much help as they can get,” said Casey Jones, a small farm owner near Labadie.

Jones led a convoy of help a few days ago and could not believe how far the damage was spread across the Prairie.

“It’s just breathtaking to be able to drive for an hour through the hills of Kansas, southwest Kansas, and every direction you look everything is burnt for miles and miles,” said Jones. “It just really takes your breath away and makes you appreciate you have.”

He hopes people will donate to the group’s GoFundMe page.  Money raised will be used to buy fencing supplies for ranchers.

“They have burned up gates and posts and wire and everything,” said Glenn Straatmaan, owner of Straatmann Feed in Labadie, Mo.

Jones said Straatmann helped locate fencing supplies for the effort, including posts, gates and barbed wire.

“There’s essentially no fencing left,” said Jones.  He plans on leading another convoy of help in just a few days.  He believes the more aware people are about the damage, the more willing they will be to help.