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Prairie farms experience barn fires

Prairie farms experience barn fires

One happened in Alberta, the other in Sask.

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Two farms in Western Canada are trying to move forward following barn fires.

On Jan. 13, a fire destroyed a dairy barn and killed 61 cows and five calves at a farm in Leduc County, Alta.

The fire occurred at the Maskoske family farm, a multi-generational dairy operation.

Firefighters from Leduc and Millet received calls about the fire around 2:30pm on Jan. 13, CityNews reports. But by the time crews arrived, flames were fully engulfing the barn.

And frigid conditions made fighting the fire even more difficult.

“The extreme cold temperatures experienced on Saturday led to the freezing of hoses, nozzles and fire apparatus, making it extremely difficult to fight the fire,” a Leduc County official told CityNews.

The family is appreciative of those who tried to help, and thankful no one was injured.

“We are so very grateful everyone is okay, we want to extend our deepest thank you to our community, family & friends that came that day to try (to) help us do anything we could to save our cows & barn, unfortunately nothing could be done,” Ryan Maskoske posted on his Facebook page.

The community is also supporting the family through a fundraising effort.

Julie Lien, a friend of Ryan and Deana Maskoske, organized a GoFundMe campaign for the family.

“This beautiful family, of a 5th generation farm, had their livelihood go up in flames in 45 minutes,” the fundraiser says. “They watched everything they have worked for, including an amazing dairy herd burn right in front of them.”

As of Jan. 18, the campaign has received 45 donations totaling $5,940 of its $25,000 goal.

In Saskatchewan, a farm near Cudworth lost about 12,000 pigs after a fire on Jan. 4.

The incident occurred at a farrow-to-finish operation owned by the Progressive Investment Group, Discover Humboldt reports.

The farm is set up with four separate barns connected with hallways.

Firefighers from Cudworth and Wakaw tried using heavy equipment to protect other barns.

“The RM (of Hoodoo) did have a bulldozer there and they were able to set up a firewall to try to save one of the barns. But the fire ended up jumping it, from my understanding, said Derreck Kolla, reeve of the RM of Hoodoo, Battlefords Now reported.

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