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Thousands of pigs die in Oklahoma wildfires at Smithfield Foods farm

Staff Writer |
Wildfires devastated a Smithfield Foods hog farm in Laverne, Oklahoma, killing a huge number of pigs, company and local officials said.

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"Several thousands were lost," said Luke Kanclerz, spokesman for the Oklahoma Forestry Services. "Such a large area was impacted by these fires, it's taking time to collect information... there are no accurate numbers yet."

Firefighters on Friday were still working to contain some of the grass fires that grew rapidly on Monday due to dry weather and parched prairie land in Texas, north and western Oklahoma and southern Kansas, burning nearly 2 million acres, killing six people and hundreds of cattle, Reuters reported.

The Smithfield farm housed about 45,000 sows, according to the company website.

"While we are deeply thankful that no employees were harmed in the fire, we lament the unnecessary loss of animals and the devastation to the surrounding community," Smithfield spokeswoman Kathleen Kirkham said in a statement.

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