In 2020, Ontario recorded its lowest number of barn fires in at least 10 years. There were 114 barn fires causing $43 million in damages, according to the most current statistics from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office. On average, each barn fire caused $380,000 in damages.
In 2019, there were 146 barn fires — 32 more than in 2020 — but total damage was less, costing about $39 million or about $268,000 per barn fire. The highest number of barn fires in one year was 186, reported in both 2011 and 2009. From 2012 to 2019, there were 130 to 160 barn fires every year. Of 2020’s 114 barn fires, 58 were in barns that contained equipment or produce and 56 were in livestock barns.
The livestock barn fires were much costlier at about $32 million in total damage, or about $574,000 per barn. Equipment and produce barn fires totaled about $11 million, or about $193,000 per barn. There were an additional 16 no-loss fires in 2020, compared with 10 no-loss fires in 2019.
Fatalities in barn fires remain scarce: there were none in both 2019 and 2020.
However, there were four related injuries in 2020 and nine in 2019, seven of which occurred in livestock barns. The causes of the barn fires have not been released. Statistics account for all farm structures under the National Farm Building Code.