Cause of local farm fire may be released today

Fire investigators hope to release today the cause of a fire that broke out at a Lacombe-area dairy farm on the weekend.

Fire investigators hope to release today the cause of a fire that broke out at a Lacombe-area dairy farm on the weekend.

Early Saturday afternoon, firefighters from Lacombe and neigbouring districts battled a blaze that killed 30 young dairy heifers and bulls and destroyed a mobile home, a machinery shed and the equipment inside.

Property and animals destroyed in the fire were part of the Luymes family dairy farm, operated by August and Harriet Luymes and their children and located about 10 km north of Lacombe.

Their son Rob, his wife Kate and their two children, who lived in the home that was destroyed, were all away from the farm at the time of the fire. Harriet Luymes said on Monday that the family has moved in with her and Albert, where they will stay while sorting out their affairs.

Luymes declined further comment on the fire.

Lacombe fire chief Daryl Friesen said he and his crews have some theories about how the fire started, but planned to meet and review their findings on Monday evening before releasing details.

The total damage in the fire is estimated at $1 million, said Friesen.

Lacombe and neighbouring fire departments were pressed into double duty after a grass fire was reported just east of town at the same time as the fire at the Luymes farm.

High winds that fanned the flames had died down somewhat by Sunday, giving firefighters some relief. However, more moisture is badly needed to reduce the risk of more fires, Friesen said on Monday.

Fire bans will remain in effect as long as conditions remain dry, he said.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com