Nebraskans lend a helping hand to ranchers in Texas

A caravan of semi-trucks from Nebraska, arrived back in the state Sunday night after making a 20-hour round trip drive to help ranchers in Texas.

A caravan of six trucks from Nebraska, prepares to take a load of donations to Texas to help ranchers devastated by wildfires.

Wildfires swept through Lipscomb County near the Oklahoma border in north west Texas earlier this month. The intense and fast-moving fire charred land, killed cattle and left people in the area to pick up the pieces. That's why a group of people primarily from the communities of Columbus, Creston and Humphrey stepped up to help out.

Over the last two weekends, more than 20 people have donated 200 hay bales, 20 rolls of wire, a couple hundred posts, the semi-trucks, fuel and money to get it down to people near the communities of Canadian, Texas.

It's helping families like Corie and Brian Ash, who run Ash Ranch in Lipscomb, Texas. Corie told 10/11 News the flames came within 200 yards of her house. With her kids in the car, she prepared never to see her home again, but with barely any time to spare, the winds changed.

Her home is still standing, her family is safe, and she knows the land will once again turn green in the future. In the meantime, she says the land is charred, the smell still lingers, and you can't escape the soot. But the generosity from the group of Nebraskans who drove more than 1,100 miles to help her family and others in the area, is overwhelming.

"We knew Scott, but we did not know all of these wonderful people that came, and all the people who donated their hay and their money, it's overwhelming," Corie Ash said. "All of those Nebraskans that came, it means so much, that they will take their time and hard-earned money, that they will help people all the way in Texas. We're not talking a couple of hours, we're talking a 10 hour trip."

Ash said aside from the hay and items to help people rebuild, one of the best parts of the group's visit are the laughs, the love, and the encouragement.

"The laughter is the best medicine," Ash said, adding it's been a long couple of weeks. But when her kids and family sees how complete strangers have helped them, she doesn't have words to describe it.

The hay is being used to feed cattle that survived or escaped the wildfires, while the fence post and wire will eventually be put up to enclose the cattle.

One man who helped organize the donations and trip told 10/11 it was hard to wrap his head around how much was lost, but the group was happy to help.

The caravan left around 7:15 a.m. Saturday and arrived in Texas around 5:30 p.m. They unloaded the trucks and made the 10 hour return trip on Sunday. Over the two weekends, nine semi-trucks have taken donated goods to help people affected by the Lipscomb wildfires.

Ash said in addition to the donations from Nebraska, ranchers from Texas and Colorado have also come with truck loads of hay and fence posts to help people in the community rebuild.