Wyoming Fire Threatens Horses

A fire that has consumed nearly 12,000 acres of woodland forced hundreds of residents in a mountainous area to evacuate their homes near Casper, Wyo., during the past week. Included among the evacuees were a number of horses that were in the fire's path.

A lightning strike early last weekend started the fire high on the mountain, and by Monday, Aug. 14, strong winds were pushing it downhill toward subdivisions. Hundreds of residents evacuated their homes as a growing number of firefighters--ultimately more than 600 were involved--from around the country joined in to battle the flames.

A spokesman at Emergency Management Operations Center in Casper said that a number of horses were evacuated, but he didn't know how many were involved. Most of the horses evacuated were recreational animals owned by residents. In many cases, the owners moved the animals out of harm's way with their own trailers. In other instances, volunteers offered transportation and pasture space for the evacuees. In several cases, horse owners without transportation capability called the Emergency Center and officials there coordinated evacuation by calling in trailer owners who had volunteered their services.

Temporary housing was provided for equine evacuees at the fairgrounds in Casper.

As of Saturday, Aug. 19, the fire was listed as being at least 50% contained, and evacuees were returning to their homes.
Ten structures were confirmed burned in the fire, including five cabins, four outbuildings, and one barn.

About the Author

Les Sellnow

Les Sellnow is a free-lance writer based near Riverton, Wyo. He specializes in articles on equine research, and operates a ranch where he raises horses and livestock. He has authored several fiction and non-fiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.exclusivelyequine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.

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