Slow recovery from February wildfires in northwest Oklahoma

Wildfire near Laverne


More than three months after wildfires burned tens of thousands of acres in western Oklahoma, ranchers, farmers and livestock experts still believe it will take years to recover from the losses.

Some are still attempting to replace fencing of their pastures. Others believe there has been a return of some grassland while others have yet to replace their lost herds.

The Smokehouse Creek Fire started Feb. 26 near the Texas Panhandle town of Stinnett and a day later, crossed into Oklahoma. Downed power lines were blamed for the fire. Within 24 hours, the blaze scorched 780 square miles.

It crossed into Oklahoma on Feb. 27 and resulted in the evacuations of Gage and Shattuck.

Farmers and ranchers in northwest Oklahoma recently gathered with Oklahoma State University Extension leaders to discuss the fire and their recovery.

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