Friday, March 17, 2006

Fate of Panhandle Courses Unclear

The conflagration over the past week in the Panhandle has sent around 700,000 acres up in smoke as a result of fast-moving and hard-to-contain grass fires. Think of it this way: over the last week, more than 2-percent of Texas' land has been scorched.

There are golf courses all over the plains in the farthest northern reaches of the state. Some of them great little hidden 9-holers, others about what you'd expect in dry, dusty little towns. I've spent some time going through the Amarillo Globe-News' special section on the fires, but have not yet found any mention of the fate of the golf courses in places in Childress and Spearman, Borger and Pampa, Shamrock and Canadian, Perryton and McLean.

Of course, golf is the least of the concerns for residents of the area these days: homes and lives have been lost, livestock have been killed, power grids have been damaged.

If you'd like to help, contributions can be made to the Eastern Texas Panhandle Chapter of the American Red Cross (P.O. Box 1036, Pampa, TX 79065). Call the chapter at (800) 297-2270 for info.

The Texas Farm Bureau is also seeking hay, fence posts, fencing wire and money for farmers and ranchers in the area. If their livestock survived, those cattle now have nothing to eat. For information on helping the area's ranchers, contact the Gray-Roberts County Farm Bureau at (806) 665-8451. More info is available on the Texas Farm Bureau website.

If you want more details about what's been happening up north, check out the Globe-News' coverage on (registration required).

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