Wildfire victims thank Iowans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wildfire victims thank Iowans

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Kansas ranchers are thanking Iowans for all of their help after devastating wildfires hit parts of the Midwest.

The wildfires have affected farmers in Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Some eastern Iowans helped out earlier in the year, bringing hay to those in need.

A family in Ashland, Kansas says they lost 30,000 acres of farm land and hundreds of cattle.

The family says they are working on moving forward and thanking Iowa in the process.

The Giles family has had their ranch for 70 years. Everything they worked for was erased in two minutes, thanks to brush fires.

Rancher Jenny Giles Betschart says wildfires took everything from her family's ranch.

"It was tough...it's not just our livelihood, it took our life," said Betschart. "It took our lifestyle and it was a really tough week."

Wildfires scorched through thousands of acres of the Giles Ranch, killing livestock and destroying the family's homes.

"We knew it was coming, we just didn't think it was going to be as severe as it was," said Betschart. "We didn't think it was going to wipe out the whole ranch."

One month after the fires, the Giles family is working on moving forward. They say they have received an overwhelming amount of support from across the United States, including here in Iowa.

"It's been really humbling to have that many strangers show up at our doorstep to help us in our very, very darkest hour," said Betschart.

Iowa farmers want those impacted to know..."we're behind you and we feel for you, and if there's anything we can do to help please do reach out and we will do what we can," Allyson Dinsdale, Grundy Center.

The Giles family says they are grateful for all of the support and help.

"Thank you Iowa," said Betschart. "We are humbled beyond belief that you would do something like this for our community and we are not taking it for granted, we truly appreciate it."

The family says they were able to save some cattle and one of the homes on the ranch. They are working on rebuilding and restocking the ranch.    

Farmers are leaving Iowa every day, bringing supplies to ranchers in places like Kansas. An online auction has also been started to raise money for wildfire victims, to access that auction CLICK HERE.
 

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