California Fires: Owners help rescue horses (US)

Cross-posted from theHorse.com

By: JENNIFER WALKER, October 20 2008, Article # 12930

Los Angeles Animal Regulations rescue worker Kim Avalos was tied up in another evacuation when she heard that her own ranch was in the line of the wildfires that swept through Los Angeles County last week. But the hard work of those on the scene kept the 83 horses at her Mountain Meadows Equestrian Center in Chatsworth safe.

Unable to reach the ranch in time, she called on her trainers, husband, and grown children to get the horses tagged and ready to go. But it was too late to get them out.

“The road was on fire,” Avalos reported. “My kids were up there; I was devastated that I couldn’t get in.”

Avalos’ helpers gathered horses in the courtyard of their brick barn. Some held horses while others used two-inch fire lines to pull water from the swimming pool to battle the flames. They managed to put out the fire that threatened the ranch, losing only the hay barn and the three mobile homes workers lived in. None of the horses were injured.

Mountain Meadows’s neighbors, further down in Browns Canyon, were not so lucky. They were unable to get their horses out and lost two to the fire.

“The fire department couldn’t get in,” Avalos noted.”If it had been humanly possible for them to do so, they would have. I know it.”

The End.

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