Fleeing for their lives

Horses flee Camp Fire

Yet more wildfires are spreading through California, destroying homes and sending people and animals running for their lives.

According to Calfire.com, the Camp Fire in Butte County is only 20% contained and has burned more than 100,000 acres. Twenty-three bodies have been found and many more people are missing. A good friend of mine lives in Chico and she described the smoke plume looking like an F5 tornado coming out of the ground. Almost all of nearby Paradise has been wiped out.

With people fleeing for their lives, they often have no time — or ability — to evacuate their animals.  The best they can do is turn them loose — marked with phone numbers — and hope for the best. Don’t condemn them for this choice. Many people don’t have trailers, or the fires were moving too fast to get to them. The best chance many of these horses have is to get through the fire on their own.

There are heartbreaking posts on Facebook of people looking for their horses. Thankfully, some have been found and are being cared for.  There are also reports of great heroics, of people trailering horses out of danger, of veterinarians and vet techs volunteering their time and expertise, of people bringing supplies.

Who is in current need of livestock feed and horse supplies? (Human supplies as well of course) Just getting an idea, I know of the fairgrounds but I’m not sure who to contact regarding. Coming from Reno, will be loading a 20ft trailer full of grass hay to bring down. As well as other supplies. We have quite the caravan that is getting ready to depart from Reno in the next few days. ❤️

I hope that Social media helps people reunite with the pets that have been found

For those people looking for pets — and those people hoping to help or donate — a few organizations are providing feet on the ground.

Posted on the Chronicle of the Horse are some of the locations that volunteer haulers might have taken large stock from the Woolsey fire. If anyone is missing large stock they should check these places.

    1. Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, 11127 Orcas Ave., Lake View Terrace
    2. Pierce College, 7100 El Rancho Drive Woodland Hills (entrance off Desoto Ave.)
    3. Los Angeles County Animal Services
    4. Humane Society of Ventura County 402 Bryant St. in Ojai
    5. Industry Hills Expo Center 16200 Temple Ave. in the City of Industry
    6. Antelope Valley Fair Grounds 2551 W. Avenue H, Lancaster
    7. Earl Warren Show Grounds – 3400 Calle Real, Santa Barbara. Check in at Gate C off of Calle Real
    8. Los Angeles County Animal Services
    9. Simi Valley Animal Shelter 670 W. Los Angeles Ave.
    10. West Valley Animal shelter, 20655 Plummer St, Chatsworth

So terribly sad for all of the people who are suffering through this devastation. I hope the fires are contained soon and that pet owners can be reunited with their beloved animal family members. Consider donating to one of the organizations that is sending food, supplies and expertise to the rescue centers. This has to be a time when the country works together to help those in need.

5 thoughts on “Fleeing for their lives

  1. There is so much to say about this, I can’t do it justice in a comment. I’ll share that I was on a Paradise area FB page and the missing person posts “this is my 91-year old grandmother… has anyone seen her?” were breaking my heart. There are keyboard warriors blasting people who set their horses free. I don’t think they realize how quickly these fires can move. And not everyone owns a trailer. And then roads are closed down, so if you do have a trailer, you might not get it in quickly enough, etc., etc., etc. I’m so sad. It’s far from me, but feels close. My friend went to Malibu High School back in the day. Gone.

    1. The situation is so sad and terrifying. I’ve watched some of the video of people driving their cars down roads with flames on either side, praying that they have the strength to get through. No one should blame people for trying to give their horses the only chance they can — the ability to run free. So far, my friend and her family are safe, but their friends and colleagues from Paradise have lost everything. You are right, there no way to do this justice.

  2. People who’ve never witnessed a wildfire have no idea how fast they can go. In situations like that in CA, sometimes fires are so hot that grass that isn’t even in contact with flames catches. Firenados are tornadoes of flame that, unlike regular tornadoes, don’t go in straight lines…they split, twist and turn on a dime. In addition, the winds will pick up flaming embers and transport them MILES to areas that aren’t anywhere near the fire line.
    Yeah, I don’t doubt there’s trolls out there flaming the folks who cut their horses loose. I sure in hell don’t see them here in fire country, helping load animals, cutting down trees, or even just giving the fire fighters a thank you.
    Every summer we hold our breaths. We cut the living daylights out of the ”’lawn””, don’t allow trees to grow near the house, and keep hoses out and ready…and still, sometimes it’s not enough.

    1. A good friend of mine lives in Chico and she’s been sending regular reports and letting us know she is safe. The photos, even though they show the fire from a distance, are like something from a movie. I’ve been in a mini tornado, a flood, and an earthquake. I really hope I never am caught in a fire.

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