Ranchers brace for ‘astronomical losses’ due to B.C. wildfires

Cattle ranchers in B.C. are bracing for massive damages to their land and
livestock as wildfires continue to rage across the Interior.

Kevin Boon, the general manager for the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association,
visited two areas this week in the ravaged Cariboo region.

“We know there’s going to be some astronomical losses,” Boon said.

It’s still too early to peg the total cost of damages – a question Boon says
he has been fielding from many ranchers – but the expenses are quickly
adding up.

“There’s hundreds of miles of fence out there that have been burnt up,” he

“That’s all a huge cost when you stop and figure it costs somewhere in the
neighbourhood of $15,000 to $20,000 a kilometre of fence to replace.”

Costs will also be incurred in destroyed grass and hay, he said.

Volatile conditions

The B.C. Cattlemen’s Association has been liaising with RCMP to get ranchers
access through checkpoints so they can transport or tend to their livestock.

Boon is also calling on the province to keep tourists and recreational users
out of the backcountry because of the volatile conditions. Even ranchers are
restricting use on their own lands, he said.

“We’re recommending our guys take their horse shoes off their horses just so
they don’t create a spark of the shoe on the walk,” Boon said.

Boon estimates there are about 30,000 head of cattle in the wildfire
regions. Death tolls won’t be as high as ranchers anticipated, but he
expects it will affect the calf population next spring.

“A lot of these cattle are in their breeding season right now,” he said.
“They might be miscarrying those calves and aborting them naturally because
of the stress.”

Greg Nyman, a rancher who lives south of Clinton, B.C., has so far found 60
of his 120 cattle. They’re in varying degrees of health, he said.

“I saw quite a few that have burned feet,” he said. “They’ve been in a
burning fire for a week and heavy smoke for close to a month now.”

“More often than not, their lungs are scorched,” he added. “So they’re no
longer productive.”


8 thoughts on “Ranchers brace for ‘astronomical losses’ due to B.C. wildfires

  1. I hate the attitude of these ranchers: “their lungs are scorched, so they’re no longer productive.” That’s a helluva way to go. And not a word about their burning to death. It’s like they’re talking about machines. Not an iota of concern or compassion about the pain inflicted on these poor animals. Glad I’m a vegetarian. Livestock need to be protected by anti-cruelty statutes, which currently only cover companion animals.

    • Hope you’ll decide to let dairy go, as these poor cows must produce in order to stay alive. Their newborns are put in little igloos right after birth so humans can enjoy the cream and cheese. Very cruel. There are many great alternatives as long as it’s NON-GMO. Don’t forget the chickens in those wire cages either laying an egg everyday for most of the year before they’re slaughtered. Going vegan is much healthier for you.

      • I’m not vegan, but I source everything “certified humane” whenever possible and organic. I know it’s not perfect. To my knowledge, dairy cows and chickens are not allowed to burn up in wildfires.

      • “Certified humane” – does that mean you share the cow’s milk with the calf? Does that mean chickens run free on a farm and aren’t confined to a shed with a thousand other chickens? Actually, free range chickens spend the winter outdoors too. That can be brutal depending where they are located.

  2. I hope each and everyone of these filthy stinking assholes go out of business, but I doubt that will ever happen. They will probably get big breaks from their government and get back to their disgusting business of making a profit from cruelty.

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