Province matching wildfire relief fund donations up to $100K

The Saskatchewan government announced Thursday it will match up to $100K in cash donations to a wildfire relief fund after a blaze roared through southwestern Sask. last month.

Fires killed an estimated 770 cattle and damaged buildings, fences and other structures

The fires which burned through southwestern Sask. burned about 34,000 hectares of land and killed 770 livestock last month. (Jenny Hagan/Backroad Photography)

The Saskatchewan government will match cash donations to the Sask. Stock Growers Association Wildfire Relief Fund up to $100,000 after fires ripped through the southwestern portion of the province last month.

The fires burned about 34,000 hectares of land, killing about 770 livestock. 

"Every type of donation that helps with recovery is welcome," Shane Jahnke, president of the association, said in a press release. 

'Not a bad template'

Premier Brad Wall said Thursday the association may have set a precedent with its initiative.

"I think cabinet decided yesterday this is not a bad template, not a bad way to move forward, not just with respect to this particular wildfire, but maybe there's another farm group that wants to raise money around flooding issues to help families that are dealing with those challenges."

As for other financial help, Wall said inquires have been made see if the association can access funds through the provincial disaster assistance program, which is shared with the federal government. 

The fires burned in parts of Alberta as well. One volunteer firefighter from Alta., 34-year-old James Hargrave, died in Sask. during the fires. Two others were injured.

The Stock Growers Association said it has raised about $65,000 in cash donations alone.

Other donations such as hay, fencing and feed brings the estimated value of donations up to about $250,000.

The fires affected the communities of Burstall, Leader and Tompkins. 

People can donate online or by calling 306-757-8523.