GFM Network News


‘Lightning siege’ sparks wildfires across California wine country

Almost 11,000 strikes reported over 72 hours

Vacaville, California | Reuters — Lightning strikes sparked dozens of wildfires in northern California’s wine country on Wednesday, burning dozens of structures and forcing thousands to flee their homes. California was hit by nearly 11,000 lightning strikes in 72 hours, sparking 367 fires, nearly two dozen of them major, as the state suffered a record

Canada to cut speed limits for trains hauling dangerous goods

New curb follows another Saskatchewan crash, fire

Ottawa/Winnipeg | Reuters — The federal government said Thursday it would impose temporary speed limits on trains hauling dangerous goods after a Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) crude oil train derailed and caught fire. The accident, which happened in the early hours of Thursday near Guernsey, Sask., about 40 km south of Humboldt, was the second


Ford recalls Super Duty pickups on post-crash fire risk

Reuters — Ford Motor Co. said Friday it would recall 547,538 of its Ford Super Duty pickup trucks across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, citing the risk of a post-crash interior fire. The second-largest U.S. automaker said the recall covers certain models between the years 2017 and 2019 with carpet flooring that could experience a

Local dairy farm fire draws national attention

The fire at a Steinbach-area farm claimed four barns and 800 cattle

A devastating fire that claimed four dairy barns and about 800 dairy cows near Steinbach has drawn attention and criticism across Canada. The fire at Pennwood Dairy was reported in the Globe and Mail, as well as several Winnipeg news outlets. Animal advocacy organizations have since called for change to industry regulations. Steinbach fire Chief

This crop-duster is a dual-purpose firefighting machine.

Birtle crop-dusters add firefighting to their profile

First-of-its-kind multi-purpose plane that can battle blazes ready for take off

A Birtle-area crop-duster is getting into the firefighting business. Randy and Janet Sandstrom have expanded their crop-dusting business to now offer aerial firefighting assistance to local fire departments. They are the proud owners of a serial No. 1 from Thrush Aircraft, a single cockpit plane with a switchback fire gate, the first-of-its-kind, multi-purpose aircraft capable



Despite farmers employing back burning and fire guards to keep wildfires from reaching their fences, many will still lose fences.

Farm fences can be insured against fire

Despite the long-standing idea fences aren’t insurable, some insurers will add a rider to cover fires

Every year, fires damage Tom Teichroeb’s fencelines. Sometimes miles of it. “This year it came from both directions,” he said. Teichroeb, the president of the Manitoba Beef Producers, farms near Langruth, just west of Lake Manitoba. He’s slowly phasing out his wood fence posts for steel ones, though he said fires also compromise electric fencing

The Doerksens’ layer barn the day after the fire. Much of the metal sheeting from the exterior was pulled away to access the fire and is stacked off to the side. The fire is estimated to have caused $2.5 million in damages.

Farm family picking up pieces after devastating fire

Fire wiped out half of the Doerksens’ layer flock and demolished their free-range barn

An egg-farming family is putting the pieces back together after a fire wiped out half their flock and razed their state-of-the-art free-run barn on May 5. “Personally, emotionally, it’s a really hard question to answer, how it affects (us),” said Joel Doerksen. “Our farm will never look the same again.” Doerksen’s farm, near Blumenort in


B.C. grants late AgriStability enrolment for 2018

Fire, flooding and a drop in raspberry prices in 2018 have spurred the federal and British Columbia governments to trigger the AgriStability late-participation mechanism. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and her provincial counterpart Lana Popham, at an event Monday in Vernon, B.C., invoked the new late-participation rule for the 2018 AgriStability program year, “to help farmers

Four ways to help protect your farm from fire

Whether it’s close to home or across an ocean, fire hasn’t been far from the news this summer. This year has been average in terms of fire risk on the Prairies, says Mike Flannigan, professor of wildland fire and the director of the western partnership for wildland fire science at the University of Alberta. But