BC's new Premier has declared that the state of emergency will stay in affect for at least two more weeks.
When we first declared state of emergency, not many people outside of BC truly understood or acknowledged the struggle we were facing, which spurred me to write this plea for assistance from other provinces.
Since then, we've seen many people involved in Canada's diverse agricultural industry step up and give assistance and aide to those ranchers in need. And as a British Columbian in agriculture, we thank you!
PSA - long but please take the time to read, this is of utmost importance to the province of BC:
As I'm sure most people are well aware, the province of BC declared a state of emergency due to the current forest fires, that are blazing across our province.
Majority of these fires are in the Cariboo region of BC, however there have been major fires pop up in the Thompson-Nicola, Fraser Valley, Kootneys and surrounding regions.
As a born & bred British Columbian, I'm well aware of the industries affected in these areas, but it's come to my attention that most people outside of BC don't realize exactly who or what is being affected by the fires.
Many houses have been destroyed, such as the Boston Flats in Ashcroft, whole towns such as 100 Mile House, have been evacuated and sent either north or south to keep themselves, their pets & precious belongings safe. However not many are aware of the destruction to farm and ranch land. A notable destruction of Ashcroft's large dairy is a perfect example of agricultural businesses being affected.
Notably people think of these areas in BC as remote, vacation spots not realizing how much agricultural land has been destroyed by fire. Thousands of livestock - cattle, horses, sheep, hogs, poultry - have been greatly affected and are in need of support.
From an agricultural standpoint, these fires are affecting some of BC's largest beef producers, with Canada's and BC's largest ranches being caught in the middle of these fires.
This is not just affecting small towns, this is affecting a huge industry in BC.
Requests for help with hauling, pasture/grazing access and general feed is not to be taken lightly. The grassland and rangeland resources that producers have counted on to feed their herds are being destroyed by the minute. BC is in need of help from the rest of Canada's agricultural industry, as fellow farmers and ranchers will understand the devastating effect fires have on another rancher's life and livelihood. Once the smoke clears and animals who survive are needing to be fed, BC's agricultural industry will be looking for assistance in anyway people are able to help.
From someone actively involved in the midst of livestock evacuation assistance, I ask each of my friends & family across Canada to consider how they can help. No small gesture goes unnoticed!
I would also like to take a moment to show appreciation for all the dedicated volunteers who have been assisting in the evacuation of humans and animals. Thank you!