GFM Network News


‘Lightning siege’ sparks wildfires across California wine country

Almost 11,000 strikes reported over 72 hours

Reading Time: 2 minutes 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 […] Read more

James Oberhofer took this picture at noon on August 15, 2018. With the smoke-dimmed sun, lights were essential in the yards and fields and on the highway.

Canola growth stalled under a shroud of smoke

Alberta canola farmers dealing with another late harvest in 2018 estimate that smoky skies in August delayed their crop by at least 10 days. Is that possible?

Reading Time: 5 minutes It was an eerie orange noon on August 15 and James Oberhofer needed to turn his truck lights on. When the agronomist for Six Strong Agronomy tried to scout under a canola field canopy, he saw only darkness. Things were in a stunning standstill as Alberta suffered the worst day in what had been a […] Read more


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[...]
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Loans pledged for wildfire-damaged Alberta farms

Reading Time: < 1 minute Ranchers and farmers in two southeastern Alberta municipalities hit by wildfire in mid-October may soon be able to apply for interest-free rebuilding loans. The province’s Agriculture Financial Services Corp. (AFSC) on Wednesday announced loan applications will be available Jan. 8 for eligible producers in Cypress County and the MD of Acadia. Applications under the Hilda[...]
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Wildfire-damaged grazing areas up for Saskatchewan aid

Reading Time: 2 minutes Saskatchewan’s provincial disaster assistance program (PDAP) will be opened up to cover southwestern grazing areas damaged by this fall’s wildfires. The province’s government relations minister, Larry Doke, on Wednesday announced producers who incurred wildfire damage on “tame and native lands” intended for grazing may now apply for assistance to get feed for affected livestock. Winds[...]
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Farming uses exempt from Alberta off-roading ban

Reading Time: 2 minutes Alberta’s new provincewide ban on recreational use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in provincial parks and on other public lands won’t apply to their use in farm work. The provincial government announced the temporary OHV ban Friday as “another tool… to help prevent the spread of wildfires,” on top of Thursday’s provincewide fire ban and its[...]
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