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Space available for Alberta farmers evacuating livestock

Space available for Alberta farmers evacuating livestock

Multiple locations are offering space for trailers or pens for animals

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Multiple ag societies and fairgrounds across Alberta are accepting farmers and livestock displaced by the ongoing wildfires.

At the Boyle Ag Grounds, for example, “the pens at the Boyle Ag Grounds are available for anyone needing to evacuate their livestock due to the fire by Jackfish Lake.”

Or the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society is letting people know its grounds are open to anyone needing a safe place to evacuate to, and that it has pens and stalling available.

A full list of places offering safety for fire evacuees, farmers and livestock can be found on the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies website.

Industry groups are also trying to keep livestock producers informed about the ongoing wildfire situation.

“We are having conversations with producers who are affected, government officials and we’ve also updated our website to include pertinent resources, including a map we created in collaboration with colleagues and stakeholders,” Debra Murphy, stakeholder relations manager with Alberta Beef Producers, told in an email.

That map also includes emergency preparedness resources.

On May 7, Alberta declared a state of emergency.

This declaration helps provincial resources be directed towards helping livestock.

“The way the system works is that we look to municipalities to manage the event within their boundaries,” Colin Blair, executive director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, said during a press conference. “Given the fact that we are now in a provincial state of emergency, we do have representatives from irrigation and agriculture in our provincial emergency coordination centre.”

Producers are encouraged to make sure their municipalities are aware of their situations, Blair added.

There are 101 active wildfires currently, the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard said on May 8. About 28 of them are classified as out of control.

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