wildfire losses

Researchers at the University of California (UC), Davis, and UC Berkley are polling horse ranch operators to determine how wildfires affect their operations.

Beatriz Martinez Lopez, DVM, MPVM, PhD, director of the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance and associate professor at the UC School of Veterinary Medicine, said the FIRE survey will examine production and feed losses, how and when owners evacuate their animals, and how perceived wildfire risk affects the costs and availability of fire insurance.

Horse, cattle, sheep, and other livestock farm operators who have experienced at least one wildfire on their property within the last 10 years are qualified to participate in the survey.

“This economic and risk assessment, to the best of our knowledge, has not been done,” Martinez Lopez said, “and we hope to identify potential actions that ranchers can take to reduce or mitigate their losses if their property is hit by wildfire.”

A comprehensive summary of the results will be shared with all California livestock producers in an open-access final report.

“We hope the survey results will be used by producers across the state to prepare for wildfire and federal and private agencies to better allocate funds for post-fire programs available to livestock producers,” said Matthew Shapero, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Interested individuals can take the survey via their smart phones, tablets, or computers at bit.ly/FIREsurvey. Individual survey responses are confidential.