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Despite loss, those impacted by Kansas wildfires hopeful this Christmas

Despite losing their homes and ranches, Kansas wildfire victims say they're thankful for the kindness they've received this holiday.
Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 4:39 PM CST
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PARADISE, Kan. (KWCH) - It is a difficult Christmas for farmers and ranchers in north-central Kansas. It was just nine days ago when the Four County fire damaged many properties, land and killed cattle. Since then, the community has come together to lend a helping hand.

The loss from last Wednesday’s fire was devastating for Monty Morrill and his family. They lost tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and half of their cattle. It’s a day he’d like to forget.

“One of the worst days of my life. The worst day of my life. [I] tried to get out here to see if I can move some cattle around and couldn’t get here the fire was coming through,” Morrill recalls.

He said many have donated hay, fence supplies and money. Some contributions have come from people he doesn’t even know.

“A lot of people I don’t know. So, I made some new friends through the deal,” said Morrill.

The December 15 wildfires also destroyed the home of Quentin Maupin’s parents, which stored his childhood memories and lots of family history. Also lost in the fire were Christmas presents. While the physical gifts were destroyed, the fire couldn’t destroy the Christmas spirit. Thanks in part to a stranger.

“She had heard that a bunch of presents had been destroyed in homes and especially, like my mom, grandma, always buys each one of the grandkids a gift. And so they, she came up and brought gifts for all of my mom’s grandkids,” Maupin said.

He doesn’t doubt that community members will continue helping each other out on Christmas Day. Organizations like Farm Rescue have dropped off hay and money is coming in for recovery efforts. Those impacted received some of that help on Christmas Eve.

“It’s Christmas Eve. Those people, you know, they would like to have Christmas too and for them to stop what they’re doing and drive hundreds of miles with hay or supplies. You know that just shows the resilience of the people in this country and this state for sure. You know they’re always willing to give,” said Maupin.

If you would like to help the Maupin family or others impacted by the Four County fire, visit this page for a list of GoFundMe links: https://www.kwch.com/2021/12/17/ways-help-kansas-wildfire-victims/

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