With the wildfire situation in Alberta and Saskatchewan, people are once again recognizing the harsh reality of just how dangerous they are.
For livestock producers there's not just the concern of getting your family and pets to safety, but also your livestock.
Grant McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association says livestock producers should look at developing an evacuation kit that includes your insurance information and more:
"Having contact information for any prearranged off-farm evacuation sites. That may be depending on your area an auction mart, maybe a feedlot, it's important to have that contact information. Ensure that you've got things like water and feed readily available at prearranged sites. A detailed inventory of your livestock and a developing list of any emergency contacts you may want to have in place prior to a wildfire event."
The kit should also include cash and a credit card, and proof of ownership.
To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with Grant McLellan click on the link below.
There are several proactive measures that can be completed in advance to prepare producers for a wildfire emergency including:
-Having contact information for prearranged off-farm evacuation sites (lairage points) handy.
-Reviewing wildfire history in area.
-Identifying and maintaining equipment that may help fight an approaching grassfire or wildfire (e.g., disk, harrow, tractor, water truck).
-Reducing vegetation and wood debris within 10 to 30 meters of farm structures by thinning and pruning.
-Creating firebreaks by clearing vegetation and exposing bare soil to help curb the movement of wildfire.
-Mapping the location of fire extinguishers, these should be in all barns, shops, and structures that have the potential to catch fire. Fire extinguishers should be easy to find within the structures, and all staff and family members should know where they are located and how to use them.
-Predetermine the location evacuation sites and routes that may be used for animal movement and have a map of the identified areas readily available for all staff, family, and first responders.
-Storing hay, straw, beddings/shaving outside the barn in a dry, covered area, if possible.
-Having water and feed readily available or at the pre-arranged lairage site(s) to ensure that all affected livestock have sufficient feed and water.
-Creating a detailed inventory of livestock and developing a list of emergency contacts prior to any wildfire event.
-If in a wildfire susceptible area, procuring and installing some type of irrigation/ sprinkler system to help suppress fire.
-Preparing an evacuation kit that includes but is not limited to:
-Supply of feed, supplements, and water for 7 to 10 days.
-Blankets, halters, leads, water buckets, feed buckets.
-Copies of vaccination records, medical records, and proof of ownership.
-Cash and credit card.