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Perkins County families get support from organizations to recover from wildfire

Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 5:13 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2021 at 2:12 PM MST
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LEMMON, S.D. (KEVN) - A fire burned approximately 20,000 acres, impacting close to 30 farms and taking one farm’s headquarters in Perkins County.

“Majorly we’re talking some landowners - producers here have lost up to 2,500 acres of grazing pasture, 1,800 acres of grazing pasture, thousands of hay bails burned up,” says Executive Director of the Lemmon Chamber of Commerce Jennifer Suter.

While fighting the flames, fire crews also fielded phone calls from concerned citizens. The Lemon Chamber of Commerce was one of many organizations that stepped in to help.

“We kind of put a Facebook post out there saying hey if anyone’s already doing something like this, by all means, let us know we’ll help you, but if you’re not we’ll be a resource to have anybody wanting to call, to make donations, ask questions,” says Suter.

On top of answering local calls, the chamber also received calls from agriculture communities in Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. All from people who wanted to help in any way they could.

As the community rebuilds, donations of hay and fencing materials are welcomed.

“Also monetary donations, they’re all going to the Dacotah Bank, which is actually stepping up in a huge way, and they’re donating a $50,000 matching fund for anything that’s put into that account. So potentially up to $100,000,” says Suter.

Northwest Supply set up a fund to also match $5,000.

“Coming together as a community will always be what we are going to do. Devastation happens, and then we have to come together and build, and I saw that as just a beautiful thing, and I didn’t expect anything less because that’s just who we are,” says Suter.

Donations started pouring in immediately. Suter says she couldn’t count the number of sandwiches made, pizzas donated, and coffee brewed from Lemmon businesses.

If you have any questions or would like to donate, you can contact the Lemmon Chamber of Commerce at (605) 374-5716.

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