A June heat wave in California, with temperatures above 100°F for nine straight days and peaking at 112°F, killed an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 cows in Fresno County alone, report numerous media outlets. For perspective, California is home to 1.75 million dairy cows.
A local rendering facility, Baker Commodities, had increased its processing 50% to take in carcasses, but the volume proved too much and the facility had to shut down for a day for repairs. The plant is the only renderer for five Central Valley counties. It has since reopened.
The Tulare County Board of Supervisors declared a local state of emergency June 30th for seven days that allowed farmers to take carcasses to a local landfill. They could also bury or compost carcasses, but would need an additional permit to do so. That emergency declaration was extended to 30 days July 6.