Farmers Forum staff
TORONTO — Ontario had 152 barn fires and record damages of just over $54 million in 2021, according to the most current statistics from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office. The number of barn fires that year was also the highest since 2015 when 159 fires inflicted a $48 million toll. There were 114 barn fires in 2020.
On average, each fire in 2021 caused nearly $356,000 in damage.
Livestock barns accounted for 58 of the 152 fires in 2021 and damages of just over $526,000 per barn on average. Equipment and produce barns accounted for 94 of the fires and damages of almost $254,000 per barn. In addition, there were 15 no-loss fires.
Barn fire fatalities continue to be rare: No human lives were lost in 2021, unchanged from 2020 and 2019. However, 6 people were injured in the barn fires of 2021, 4 of those involving livestock barn fires. Four people were injured in 2020, split evenly between livestock and equipment or produce barns.
Ontario has not released causes of the fires. Most causes of barn fires are undetermined, while a common cause is mechanical or electrical failure. Arson is rare and was the cause of 4 % of barn fires in 2018, the Fire Marshall reported. The list of fires include all farm structures under the National Farm Building Code.