Montanans work to save homes and cattle from wildfires - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Montanans work to save homes and cattle from wildfires

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As most Americans have their eyes on Hurricane Harvey aftermath in Texas, Montanans are battling wildfires that have been burning all summer.

Many people have been pushed from their homes, while ranchers are working to save cattle.

In Montana, dry conditions and wildfires are threatening homes, fences, and livestock.

Farmers and ranchers are working with firefighters to contain those wildfires, and they're also trying to rebuild what they can.

Dramatic pictures and video out of Montana this summer only catches a glimpse of what Montanans are going through.

In July, KULR-8 anchor Becky Hillier caught up with a woman named, Elisa, who visited her family ranch near Sand Springs, Montana for the first time after fire barreled through.

"There was a big picture window right here and here. Dad wanted a lot of windows and a lot of light," Elisa said.

At last check, nearly 1-million acres of land has burned, and people like Kelly Witt of Garfield County, Montana have to work through the charred remains by rebuilding fences and saving livestock.

"We're struggling to just get some grass for our cattle to eat, and then being as black as it is everywhere, it increased the temperature. Cattle are drinking way more water. So, it's been pretty tough on our cattle herd, and that's our livelihood," Kelly Witt said.

Kelly's mother, Karen Witt, said she's used to wildfires in Montana, but she's never seen anything like this.

"I've just never seen it this dry. I've been here. I've lived her for almost 50 years, and I've never seen it this dry here like it is this year," Karen said.

Despite the devastation, Karen said she's staying optimistic that everything will eventually work out.

"Life goes on, and you just have to figure out how to do something different to keep your livelihood going," Kelly said.

At last check, nearly 5,000 firefighters are working to save homes and cattle from burning in Montana.

If you'd like to help with relief efforts, you can click Garfield County Fire Foundation - Fire Relief Fund on Facebook.

According to the Montana Bureau of Land Management, more than 1,600 fires have been reported in Montana this year.

Preston Kiehl of Flatwillow Creek Outfitters and Cory DeStein allowed us to use photos in this story.

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