The Fall Fairgrounds in Barriere have for the second time in four years opened up their facility to livestock being evacuated from areas threatened by wildfire. Young volunteers, Isabel (l) and Alayah Maddocks-Puetz, are shown helping feed a young goat called Duece while Daisy tries to get involved with his lunch. Since early July horses, sheep, and goats are being cared for by North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association volunteers. (Jill Hayward photo)

The Fall Fairgrounds in Barriere have for the second time in four years opened up their facility to livestock being evacuated from areas threatened by wildfire. Young volunteers, Isabel (l) and Alayah Maddocks-Puetz, are shown helping feed a young goat called Duece while Daisy tries to get involved with his lunch. Since early July horses, sheep, and goats are being cared for by North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association volunteers. (Jill Hayward photo)

Fairgrounds in Barriere hosting evacuated livestock

For the second time in just under four years the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association (NTFFRA) has opened up its fairgrounds facility in Barriere to house evacuated livestock and animals displaced by wildfires.

The organization is no stranger to helping livestock owners when there is a need. Even in 2003, when Barriere itself was evacuated due to the McLure Wildfire, the fairgrounds were caring for evacuated livestock. Then again in 2017, when the fairgrounds cared for 540 animals over a period of 70 days while fires raged in and around the areas of Clinton, Green Lake,100 Mile House, 108, Sheridan Lake, Canim Lake, Little Fort, Clearwater, Lemieux Creek, Dunn Lake Road, Cherry Creek, Lone Butte. 70 Mile House, Williams Lake and more.

The NTFFRA report that so far this summer far they have animals from the 100 Mile, Deka Lake, Whitecroft and Sun Peaks areas displaced by the current fire situation.

“We never know from one day to the next,” commented Jill Hayward NTFFRA president, “But we have a good crew of volunteers, and have plenty of room to accommodate the animals as they come in.”

How do they afford to feed and care for all the livestock?

“We welcome donations from anyone who loves animals or just plain wants to help house evacuees with four legs. The NTFFRA is now a registered Charity, so any donations of $100 dollars or more will give the donor a charitable receipt that can be applied to their taxes. All donations are utilized to purchase feed, bedding, medical necessities, fuel for our transporters (who actually go out to the fire zones to load the animals and haul them into the fairgrounds), and anything else that is required to house and care for our four legged guests.”

Hayward points out that pets, such as dogs and cats, are not housed at the fairgrounds as the facility does not have the facilities required to care for these animals.

“We are not hugely busy right now,” said Hayward, “Actually we hope it will stay that way as that tells us the fires have not increased. However, if the livestock trailers start coming – we’re ready.”

If you would like more information on how you can help, or make a donation, call Jill Hayward at 250-319-8023, or you can email a donation via eTransfer to treasurerntff@gmail.com and mark the donation ‘Livestock Evacuation’.

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