Another Bad Year for Barn Fires

Every year in the United States, barn fires kill hundreds of thousands of farm animals, yet no federal laws or regulations are in place to prevent these tragic incidents. AWI, which compiles and analyzes barn fire data, found that in 2018 more than 150,000 farm animals perished in 148 documented US barn fires—the latter number nearly double that of the previous year. Of these fires, Wisconsin reported the most (19), followed by Ohio (18), and New York (18). This 2018 barn fire tally follows an AWI report released in October: Barn Fires: A Deadly Threat to Farm Animals. The report, which calls attention to the more than 2.7 million farm animals who died in 326 separate barn fires from 2013 through 2017, offers recommendations for fire prevention and safety measures that would better protect farm animals and farm workers.

To further increase barn fire awareness, AWI released two barn fire trackers on our website in January. One tallies the total number of farm animals that were reported killed in barn fires since 2013, broken down by species. The other tracks reported barn fires, by state, on an annual basis. AWI has found that fires occur most often in the Upper Midwest and Northeast, and are more common in winter months. Malfunctioning or improperly placed heating devices are the most common culprits.