Thousands of chickens died in a fire that tore through a barn in Abbotsford Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to a property on Ross Road, just north of Downes Road.

Asst. Fire Chief Ron Hull said they could see a high plume of smoke from the area while en route to the scene.

"Once on scene they had basically a barn that was fully involved, flame through the roof from one end to the other," Hull said.

The flames were starting to spread to a second barn, but crews were able to save the second building.

The first barn collapsed during the fire, and an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 chickens were killed.

Crews had the flames under control by 2 p.m., though officials remained at the scene monitoring the area for hot spots, and the barn was still smoking an hour later.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, nor is there an estimated value of the damage caused by the blaze.

Approximately 40 firefighters responded to the call, and had to be monitored closely, Hull said. Tuesday reached a high of 28 C, and when coupled with the heat of the fire, crews were at risk of heat-related ailments.

Firefighters battled the blaze on a rotation, making sure they had enough rest and water while taking breaks.