State of disaster declared in six Texas Counties

AUSTIN, TX -- Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for six Texas counties in the panhandle at the epicenter of the wildfires that have burned more than 400-thousand acres of land.

But that's just Texas. When you count the wildfires in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado - the number of acres turned into ash grows to over 1-million.

A total of seven people have been killed because of these wildfires. Five of those deaths were in Texas. And three of those were ranchers in Gray County trying to save their cattle.

That may seem silly to some of us city folk, but not to others who depend on their land to make a living.

"People in the panhandle and particularly in Gray County they are so independent and they are going to take care of what they have and their cattle is their livelihood," said Sandi Martin, an Emergency Management Coordinator for Gray County.

And for ranchers, that livelihood is in jeopardy as the blaze has killed an untold amount of livestock.

"We're kind of just estimating that we lost over 500 cows," said Garth Gardiner, a rancher in the Panhandle.

"That impacts our ranchers and our ranch families tremendously so that's a huge economic impact on producers,” said Danny Nusser of Agrilife. “It's going to be an economic impact indirectly for a lot of folks."

Yeah, a state of disaster may have been declared for parts of Texas. But much more than that is needed before those folks stop feeling the wrath of Mother Nature.