Ranchers promised help
Kate Bouey - Aug 09 - BC Biz

Image: Twitter

Angry B.C. ranchers have been promised help from the federal and provincial governments in response to the wildfires burning their way through grasslands, especially in the Cariboo.

The potential impact is severe as ranchers have an estimated 30,000 animals within the boundaries of wildfire-affected areas. The number of livestock injuries and losses is unknown as the emergency continues.

The B.C. government has promised once that information is available, officials will work quickly with industry stakeholders to develop “a fair and timely response,” said a Ministry of Agriculture press release.

Officials say the recognize that additional programs will likely be needed given the scope of the wildfires but ranchers and crop producers should also look at existing federal and provincial government insurance and income protection programs.

The government estimated more than 500 ranchers have already received support and information through the wildfire emergency response, including emergency livestock feed.

A total of $6 million is expected to be used for fence reconstruction efforts along highways and on Crown range once the crisis is at an end.

On the weekend, ranchers in the Clinton area demanded compensation and an apology from the government after a controlled burn got out of control and added to the massive Elephant Hill wildfire putting more of their properties and livestock at risk.

The BC Wildfire Service defended the practice of fighting massive fires with fire.

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