Canadian Underwriter

B.C. ranchers say costs of wildfires likely top hundreds of millions

July 25, 2017   by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

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KAMLOOPS, B.C. – The British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association says wildfires have inflicted a terrible financial and emotional toll on its members.

Burnt trees are pictured in front of a smoke-filled sky near Old Fort, B.C., Tuesday, July 11, 2017. Over one hundred wildfires are burning throughout British Columbia, forcing thousands of residents to be evacuated or on put on alert. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Association manager Kevin Boon says wildfires that broke out earlier this month in B.C.’s Cariboo and Chilcotin regions are estimated to have charred about 1,000 square kilometres of ranch land.

He says cattle, fences, feed and infrastructure have all been destroyed.

Related: British Columbia extends state of emergency two weeks due to wildfires

Boon expects financial losses for the association’s nearly 1,200 beef producers will top hundreds of millions of dollars.

He says the federal and provincial governments have offered assurances that assistance will be provided, but the extent of the help or how it will be delivered is still unknown.

Boon says ranchers are in the process of tallying the damage. (CHNL)