The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association is collecting donations of cash, hay, feed, trucking and “whatever people can offer” to help ranchers affected by this fall’s wildfires in southwest Saskatchewan.
“The fires destroyed animals, buildings, fields, feed and everything else in their way. Miles of fencing were destroyed. With winter coming, there’s a lot of people who need help,” said SSGA President Shane Jahnke in a news release on Monday.
Extreme winds on October 17 propelled fires across tens of thousands of acres near Burstall, Leader, and Tompkins, with hundreds of animals falling victim to the flames. As of Friday, Saskatchewan’s ministry of agriculture estimated around 750 animals had been lost. SSGA says close to a million dollars worth of livestock died or had to be euthanized. “Some producers have lost over half their herds,” said Jahnke.
There was also a fire near Glentworth in early September that caused extensive damage.
“The drought conditions that fuelled the fires had already caused feed shortages,” he said. “Now producers need to buy winter feed to replace the grass and the bales they lost to the fires.
Anybody can contribute online or by calling the SSGA office at (306) 757-8523. Producers can also call that number to report if they need help.