Central Washington Wildfire Threatens Area Horses

Central Washington Wildfire Threatens Area Horses

Photo: Jay Calderon

More than 100 horses have been evacuated from areas affected by a wildfire raging in central Washington, and shelter organizers are seeking supply donations to continue caring for displaced animals.

According to the Kittitas County, Wash., website, the Taylor Bridge fire began shortly after 1:00 p.m. on Monday (Aug. 13) between the towns of Cle Elum and Thorp. Firefighters responded quickly, but the fire spread rapidly and had burned approximately 2,700 acres by about 5:45 p.m. that day, the website said.

According to InciWeb.org, a hub for national incident information, 28,000 acres had burned and more than 60 structures were lost, but no injuries were reported.

Officials designated the Kittitas County Fairgrounds, located in Ellensburg, as an emergency livestock shelter. According to a report from the Seattle Times, more than 200 livestock--including more than 100 horses--had been evacuated to the fairgrounds as of yesterday (Aug. 14) 12:15 p.m. PDT.

According to the Times report, shelter organizers are seeking supplies--such as buckets, fly spray, feed, lead ropes, and halters--to help care for the displaced horses. Individuals who would like to donate supplies are asked to call the fairgrounds at 509/962-7639.

Numerous published reports indicate veterinarians are on hand at the fairgrounds to care for fire-related injuries or illnesses, including colic.

The Ellensburg Animal Hospital posted on their Facebook page that grass hay, water buckets, equine senior feed, and straw or shavings are needed to continue caring for evacuated horses. The post indicates donations can be dropped either at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds or at the Ellensburg Animal Hospital, located at 1800 Vantage Highway in Ellensburg.

Additionally, area residents developed a "Taylor Bridge Fire Animal Recovery" Facebook page "to share any info on lost and found animals that have been affected by the fire and evacuations taking place in the Kittitas Valley." The page has also been used to coordinate supply donations and large and small animal evacuation and housing efforts.

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About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in three-day eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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