BC Cattlemen's Association: It's too soon to say how much wildfires cost ranchers

By Greg Fry
October 27, 2017 - 9:00am

KAMLOOPS — It'll be a while yet before we'll know the true extent of losses ranchers suffered because of this summer's devastating wildfire season.

"Most of our ranchers are still in the assessment process right now," says Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen's Association. "Most of these guys are doing their appliations for the AgriRecovery (program), which was the $20 million announced last month."

Boon adds it's tough to get a true sense before the snow starts to fly.

"Some of these cattle right now are 30,40,50 miles away from home. They're in areas that they're not used to so we've got to find some of these cattle. If we did an assessment right now based on what cattle are missing it wouldn't be fair because we know what's missing isn't going to be the extent of the losses."

So, when does he expect to see some final answers?

"I would say in a month we're going to really start to know what infrastructure was lost between fences and buildings and corrals. We're going to start to have a better idea of how much of the hay and grass was lost. But it'll probably be into January before we really have a more accurate accounting of how much cattle have been lost."

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