A cow stands in a lightly smoking field during the Elephant Hill fire, where ranchers were out daily on horseback trying to move their stock out of the path of the advancing wildfire. Gus Horn photo.

Ranchers can now apply for $20 million wildfire recovery fund

Funding to help cover costs including transportation during wildfires and crop production

A $20-million recovery initiative is now open to B.C. ranchers and farmers affected by this year’s wildfires.

The 2017 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire Recovery Initiative is now accepting application packages for the “extraordinary costs incurred by ranchers and farmers to recover from the adverse effects of this year’s wildfires,” says a release from the Ministry of Agriculture.

The AgriRecovery fund will cover the “extraordinary” costs of agriculture producers, including costs related to ensuring animal health and safety; feed, shelter and transportation costs; and costs to re-establish perennial crop and pasture production damaged by fire.

According to the website, the costs will be shared between federal and provincial governments at a 60 to 40 per cent split.

It also warns that because the wildfires have caused a “widespread array of damage,” the application process is “quite comprehensive”

The application packages are available at FrontCounter BC, Ministry of Agriculture offices or online at the BC government’s website.

The releases says there are dedicated staff in place to assist with the application process as well as assessing losses and claim payments, available by email at agrirecoverywildfireinitiative@gov.bc.ca or by calling 1-888-332-3352.

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