Cottonwood Fire Relief Fund to distribute $125,000
Nearly two months after the devastating Cottonwood Fire in Pennington and Jackson Counties, the Cottonwood Fire Relief Fund is set to distribute the money raised to benefit farmers and ranchers affected by the blaze. The more than $125,000 in the fund came from hundreds of individual donations across the region.
The Cottonwood Fire Relief Fund was started by Philip Charities after the October 16 Cottonwood Fire tore through 41,000 acres of grassland. Philip Charities has identified landowners and ranch operators who had losses totaling more than 300 cows and calves, 6,000 bales of hay, approximately 200 miles of fencing, and 40,000 acres of grazing lands. Several producers also lost barns, corral facilities, and water tanks.
The disbursements from the fund will be made according to criteria established by Philip Charities leadership based on fencing and grazing losses. Additionally, fencing materials and donated hay continues to be distributed to ranches on a needs basis. Money from the fund is also being used to pay for trucking costs associated with delivering donated supplies. So far more than 2,000 bales of hay have been donated and delivered.
Philip Charities was founded in 1974 as a 501(c)3 charitable foundation to support projects in and around the community. Philip Charities intends to close this relief fund once distributions are complete. Philip Charities will accept donations until December 16. Donations of hay can be coordinated through the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, 605-342-0429. Philip Charities can be reached by calling 605-859-2525.