Children help care for orphaned calves

MEADE, Kan. (KSNW) - As ranchers throughout southwest Kansas look to rebuild their cattle herds devastated by the grass fires, they're getting help taking care of their surviving calves.

"This is far more than just a bunch of cute baby calves that we are taking care of," said Erin Boggs.

After fires ripped through Clark County, including her parents' ranch, Boggs of the Meade County 4-H Club did what she could to help.

"We're looking at calves who were wandering around looking for their moms and wondering why they weren't getting up," she said. "Somebody was going to need to take care of those calves."

Orphaned calves will be cared for by volunteers until ranchers can rebuild and take them back.

Boggs and her family are taking care of six calves. They're one of 20 homes caring for 86 orphaned calves.

"We have families in Sublette, down in Oklahoma," she said. "It's really reached farther than just our 4-H Club."

It's inspired volunteers of all ages to pitch in however they can.

"A lot of them," said Vincent Lynn, Boggs's 11-year-old neighbor, "their mothers died. So they went through a lot, so I just wanted to help them out."

"They see a need," said Boggs, "and it's something they can help with, and I'm super proud of each and every one of them."

Officials in Clark County report that 31 homes were destroyed and six were damaged.

Around the county, the fire burned 108 other buildings to ground.

Livestock losses, however, were much worse, with thousands of head of cattle killed. Officials estimate that the fire destroyed 100,000 miles of fencing.

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