Attention All Producers Affected by the Franklin County Labor Day Wildfire

To all producers affected by the recent wildfire:

We on a local and state level are working up an expedited disaster report and ultimate request for disaster declaration for our county and state-wide counties affected by wildfires.
Specific information and facts regarding our county fire is sketchy at this time. This is where you come in. By reporting individual farm losses, we can get a better handle for our disaster reports to the County and State Emergency Boards and in turn help determine what active programs we have that may be available to you as well as potential requests for specific program funding that may assist you as well.

Many of our disaster related programs require a notice of loss much like Federal Crop Insurance requires. A notice of loss should be provided within 30 days of when the loss was apparent. The Labor Day fire was contained on September 8th, and this may have been the earliest you could assess the overall damage.

Due to heavy FSA office workload we are asking producers to email, fax or drop off written notices of loss rather than phone us, and this for two reasons; One, phone calls generally pull staff away from the important CFAP, CRP, Acreage Reporting and final payment preparations work we’re all heavily involved in that directly impact a large number of our county producers and – Two; having something in writing is a more permanent record and gives us something tangible to build on for return appointment calls for the various programs you might be eligible for.

The following instructions outline what would qualify for a Notice of Loss (NOL) for any FSA program that might be available to you and if you could write up this Notice of Loss in same manner as listed below, would really make things easier and more efficient for us all. Also, (and most important) – safety and health is critical. If it’s not healthy for you in the current poor air quality environment to physically inspect the damaged areas – simply offer best projections in your NOL. More precise information can be provided a little later when the smoke clears, and air quality is improved.

Sooner than later (within 30 days) in written form (email, fax or hard copy word document):

1. Enter “Labor Day Wildfire” in the subject line of your email or fax or top margin of the document – so we have the Cause of your losses. You’re welcome to enter the actual dates and even times the fire affected you to provide a little more detail for your specific losses since we understand that the fire started the 7th and was contained on the 8th.
2. Enter the Operation Name affected (farm entity or individual that was the at-risk loss producer of what was damaged/destroyed. Ex: livestock operation was affected with losses to fence or pasture and maybe you personally as the landowner lost acreage of stubble and farm buildings).
3. Enter Primary Contact Name and
a. Best Phone Contact Numberb. Primary and/or secondary email addresses and/or fax number (as applicable)
4. Best Projections of:
a. Grazed dryland pasture acreage burned
b. CRP acreage burned
c. Wheat stubble burned
d. Livestock Fence Footage (or mileage) damaged/destroyed
e. Livestock water troughs, (facilities) damaged/destroyed and their estimated values
f. Loss of livestock, type and weight (calves, heifers, cows, bulls, lamb, ewe etc.)
g. Loss of purchased and/or produced feed and estimated or known value lost.
h. Farmstead Dwelling types damaged/destroyed (homes, barns, shops, etc.) and estimated values of those losses
i. Conservation facilities/systems lost and their value (guzzlers, livestock water pipelines, pumps, solar stations, etc.)

Follow-up Items (that can be attached to the above NOL if you’ve acquired them now):
1. Pictures (Dated if possible) of damage/destruction (see above list)
2. FSA maps or next best option – print county assessor maps for affected parcels and mark out burned acreages, identify burned fence, locations of dead livestock, etc. These don’t need to be exact yet, but they will certainly provide some good foundation for future program applications.
3. Compile purchase receipts for destroyed feed.
4. GPS waypoints for fence lines and/or any other acreages you would like us to be able to document. Waypoint files may be able to be utilized by the NRCS office here locally that is offering some time with fact finding for this fire. This will be something we would possibly use later if you have that capability and time, but there is no rush or requirement to provide GPS data.

Remember – a NOL needs to be provided no later than October 8, 2020 for this fire event and for at least FSA’s Livestock Disaster Programs but potentially others that could come into play. If you cannot provide all the facts, you would like but you’re up against the 30-day deadline – provide your best projections notice and we’ll accept it. We’ll deal with all needed facts when you apply for the actual programs that will fit your situation.
Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this meeting should contact Bruce Clatterbuck at 509-545-8543 extension 5703 or Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

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