Hundreds of Horses Removed From California Fire Zone

Hundreds of Horses Removed From California Fire Zone

Some evacuated horses were taken to the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Photo: Courtesy James Lockwood, Ventura County Fairgrounds public relations and marketing director

Hundreds of horses have been evacuated from a wildfire zone that has consumed more than 80,000 acres in Ventura and other Southern California counties.

According to CalFire, the so-called Thomas fire began to erupt in Ventura and Los Angeles counties on Dec. 5. By the following day, the blazes carried by strong winds had forced evacuations in Ventura County including the cities of Ventura, Santa Paula, and others, as well as the East and Upper Ojai Valleys. In Los Angeles County, the Rye and Skirbal fires forced evacuations there. Meanwhile, the Little Mountain Fire claimed about 100 acres in San Bernadino County. All told, some 83,000 acres were involved in the blazes, CalFire said.

Exactly how many horses were evacuated ahead of the fires is uncertain, said Ventura County Public Information Officer Bill Nash. But the area's equestrian community responded immediately.

Horses are waiting out the wildfire at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Photo: Courtesy James Lockwood, Ventura County Fairgrounds public relations and marketing director

“Some of the horses went to the (Ventura) County Fairgrounds, but we don't have those numbers immediately,” Nash said. “However, the horse community is tight knit, so some of the horses are going to ranches that are outside the fire area, but those arrangement are made based on who people know in the (equine) community.”

As fire crews continue their struggle to contain the blaze, Nash said area residents are doing their best to remain positive.

“We're doing the best we can under the circumstances,” he said.

TheHorse.com will provide additional updates as more information becomes available.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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