B.C. wildfires put nearly 20,000 cattle in danger
Some farmers opening their gates to help displaced animals
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 cattle could be in danger because of the wildfires in British Columbia, according to Kevin Boon, general manager of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association.
“They just can’t be gathered into an area where we can load them and get them out, so they’re very much fending on their own,” Boon told CFJC Today. “But, we have a lot of ranchers that are staying behind, that are working on it, and that are keeping these cattle out of harm’s way.”
Many of the stranded cattle are in the Cariboo region. While losses are expected, some of the animals should be able to escape and find water.
“These fires move fast but they’re not that fast – these cattle can out-move them,” Boon told The Canadian Press. “These animals have very good instincts. They know what the places are that they can go where they are safe.”
Photo: Ryan Maljaars/CBC
Cattle losses can have a significant economic impact on ranchers. Breeding cows and calves can be worth a minimum of $1,000 per head, Boon said.
Welcoming displaced farmers and animals
B.C. farmers are helping out their colleagues by opening their gates to displaced farmers and their families.
Canmore Farms, a 100-acre horse farm in South Langley, welcomed truckloads of horses, chickens and other farm animals.
And a farm family in East Kelowna is also offering up space to people in need.
They decided to open up their farm after hearing about a displaced family with three horses.
“(It) just hurt my heart to hear that,” a woman named Denise, who lives on the farm with her husband, told Castanet.net.
Any displaced farmers requiring shelter can call 250-863-7161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to donate to the relief efforts in British Columbia, visit the Red Cross or text “FIRES” to 45678 to make a $10 donation.