…fire season that is.

The Kinyon Road Fire here in Idaho has been contained. It burned over 215,000 acres in just a few days. Many cattle producers in our area have lost their fall and winter grazing pastures due to the fire.

Although that is devastating, the largest concern right now is that it’s only the middle of July. There is a real danger of another large fire in the next six weeks. It is frustrating, as producers, to fight these huge fires all the while knowing that fires of this magnitude may be avoided. If federal lands were managed to allow for more grazing, the fuel loads would be reduced, and fires of this magnitude may be avoided.

A few of our friends and neighbors have commented to us that we are fortunate to have land in Nevada and California where we plan to run some cattle this fall and winter. Last week, my husband went to California to check on cattle and scope out the winter country. He was slightly dismayed to discover a smoke filled valley and fire-fighting planes flying overhead.

Drought has turned most parts of the West brown earlier than normal, causing fires to spark easily and thrive on the dried up forage. So many of our friends throughout the industry have been affected by fire this year. We commiserate with each other about our businesses being at the mercy of Mother Nature. The drought has forced many cattle producers to reduce the size of their herds due to lack of available grass. Consequently the costs of cattle feed, such as corn, are steadily increasing.

My kids are outside practicing their rain dances right now. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it works.