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A large amount of smoke is scene coming from a barn fire near Tillsonburg, Ont. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (Twitter / TBurgFireCAD)

Thousands of pigs perished in a barn fire on Hawkins Line near Tillsonburg Saturday morning.

Emergency services responded to the fire about 5 a.m.

Firefighters from Southwest Oxford, Tillsonburg and Bayham all assisted at the scene.

The barn was engulfed when firefighters arrived. "We started protecting some of the exposures, some of the propane tanks, some of the silos, things like that, to try and minimize the damage as much as possible,” says South-West Oxford Fire Chief Jeff VanRybroeck.

At the fire’s peak about eight tankers were doing water runs to ensure crews could keep the blaze in check.

"They're running into Tillsonburg to get water. And then we've got port-tanks at the roadway. And then we have a pumper that's feeding up into the yard where we have our attack pumper positioned and then all of the attack lines are coming off of that truck,” VanRybroeck says.

He says debris will likely continue to burn for another couple of days as crews continue to manage hot spots and begin the cleanup.

The value of the farm operation is between $8 and $10 million.

Hawkins Line was closed between Culloden Line and Dereham Line for about 7 hours as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.