BILLINGS, Mont. - The Huff Fire, which burned almost 47,000 acres in Garfield County, is now 100% contained, but the effects of the destruction continue to impact residents in the area.
"Along with fences, they have also lost structures. They have also lost some livestock up there, I heard anecdotally 200 sheep are lost, and an unknown amount of cattle have also," said Northern AG Broadcaster Andy Schwab.
It has been a strenuous year for farmers and ranchers even outside the wildfire in Garfield County.
Schwab says it has been a particularly dry year, meaning hay in the area is not nearly as abundant as they need. All of this on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down packing plants across the nation.
"The cattle that were ready to go now had to feed longer, and the cattle that they can't go with anywhere – they're going to be forced to sell those cattle."
It will be difficult for those farmers and ranchers to recover. Our partners at the Northern AG Network say this is the time for the community to come together and give any support they can.
"Farmers and ranchers are definitely not ones to take a hand out, but if you are willing to and have the resources to help those guys, they definitely would be willing to accept those at this moment, because they just kind of have their hands tied at this point."
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will be assisting those who are recovering from the wildfire, but those ranchers and farmers need to reach out with in 30 days of the recorded loss to receive that support.
While the community is struggling right now, Colter Brown, another Northern AG broadcaster, says there are a lot of people willing to help.
"The community in Garfield County and really across eastern Montana, they've done a great job of coming to the aid of producers who need it," Brown said.
A great way for the community to get involved is by donating and supplying fencing material.
You can reach out to Lori Murnin at 406-977-2334 to find more ways to donate.