Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

Photo

Ranchers Survey Painful Losses After Deadly Wildfires

Wildfires swept parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas last week, causing millions of dollars in damage and killing thousands of livestock.

 / Updated 11 PHOTOS
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

Rancher Nancy Schwerzenbach walks with dogs through pasture burned by wildfires near Lipscomb, Texas, on March 12.

When the Schwerzenbach family saw a wildfire racing toward their remote ranch, there was no time to run.

"We had a minute or two and then it was over us," said Nancy.

The fire, moving up to 70 miles per hour, burned through nearly all 1,000 acres of the Schwerzenbach ranch, and killed some 40 cattle. A mile away, a young man in the rural community was killed.

"The fire was about two miles away before we knew what happened to us," she said.

 

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

A country road leads through a pasture burned by wildfires near Glazier, Texas, on March 12.

Steve Amosson, an economist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, estimates it could cost $6 million to recover 480,000 acres burned in Texas fires along with $4.3 million to replace and repair fences in the northern Texas Panhandle either destroyed by the fire or by cattle trampling them to escape the blaze.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

Pitchforks that have had their handles burned by wildfires rest amid remnants of a ranch outbuilding near Lipscomb, Texas, on March 12.

 

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

Kay Rottmayer, 65, looks at farm equipment that was destroyed by wildfires near Knowles, Oklahoma, on March 14.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

Cattle killed by wildfires lie in a pasture near Higgins, Texas, on March 12.

State government agencies estimate about 1,500 cattle were lost in Texas to the wildfires.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

Volunteers and ranchers sit at a table to talk about the aftermath of the Perryton fire in Lipscomb, Texas, on March 12.

Texas is the top U.S. cattle producing state with some 12.3 million head.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

Scorched trees stand above pasture burned by wildfires near Higgins, Texas, on March 12.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

A calf killed by wildfires lies in a burned pasture near Higgins, Texas, on March 12.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

A chimney is all that stands in the footprint of a home destroyed by wildfires near Laverne, Oklahoma, on March 12.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

Ranchers tease each other as they gather for breakfast in a cafe in Buffalo, Oklahoma, on March 13.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
Image: The Wider Image: Deadly U.S. wildfires leave ranches in ruins

A fire extinguisher lies on the ground inside the remains of an equipment shed burned by wildfires near Lipscomb, Texas, on March 12.
Lucas Jackson / Reuters
  • Share
1/11