Nebraskans send donations of hay, fence supplies to Kansas rancher impacted by wildfires

10/11 NOW at 5
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 5:38 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Four trucks headed from Fairbury to Paradise, Kansas Tuesday carrying dozens of hay bales, fence supplies and cash donations. It went to a Kansas family whose ranch was destroyed by wildfires that tore through this month.

When Nebraska was hit with high winds Dec. 15, so was rural Kansas. Those winds sparked wildfires that tore through farmland, destroying equipment, fences, fields and killing cattle.

It’s that damage that sparked Fairbury chiropractor Thayne Tatro to start collecting donations for a rancher he knew who lost everything. He started by posting to Facebook asking for cash donations.

“It kind of spiraled from there and really became more than I ever imagined in a matter of about a week,” Tatro said.

He said several community members came forward to give much more than money.

“We drove four trucks down yesterday with 74 large haybales, fencing supplies from used t-posts and barbed wire too. One person donated 13 rolls of brand new barbed wire,” Tatro said.

Those donations went to the Morrill family. 10/11 NOW talked with Morty Morrill on the phone Wednesday afternoon about the fast-moving fire that destroyed his ranch.

“It burned nearly everything,” Morrill said. “We lost half our cows, hedge posts, wires are shot, we lost everything.”

Morrill said they’ve spent the last few days tracking down and trying to save cattle that survived the fire, trying to rebuild fences and treating horses for burns. The donations are helping a lot.

“It makes you feel like you’re not so alone,” Morrill said. “That there are people out there who care and are willing to help.”

Tatro said it’s just the right thing to do because in 2019 when Nebraska was hit with floods, Kansans were some of the first to help out.

“It’s something about the Midwest,” Tatro said. “Friends helping friends, neighbors helping neighbors.”

The Morrill family does have a GoFundMe account to help in their recovery. You can donate here.

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