The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association has launched a wildfire relief fund to help ranchers affected by devastating wildfires this fall.
“We’re collecting donations of cash, hay, feed, trucking – whatever people can offer,” said SSGA President Shane Jahnke. “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.”
The most recent fires near Burstall, Leader, and Tompkins on October 17 were propelled by strong winds, and advanced quickly across fields and grasslands. Another fire near Glentworth in early September also caused extensive damage.
Tens of thousands of acres were burnt in the fires, and close to a million dollars worth of livestock died in the fires or had to be euthanized.
“Some producers have lost over half their herds,” Jahnke said.
“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.
“The damage is absolutely catastrophic, and a lot of people are hurting. We’re calling on our members, and everyone who is able to help, to pull together for the people in the ranching community who suffered damage and loss.”
People can contribute by going to www.skstockgrowers.com or calling the SSGA office at (306) 757-8523, or producers can call that number to report what help they need.
Producers do not need to be SSGA members to qualify for help.