Texas Wildfires: Too Soon to Know How Many Horses Evacuated

Members of Texas' equine community are working together to help horses threatened by wildfires raging in that state.

Due to record summer temperatures and persistent drought, several wildfires have flared in Texas this year, according to the Texas Forest Service website. Since Sept. 1 Texas Forest Service has responded to 181 fires covering a total of 118,413 acres. On Sept. 5 the agency responded to 22 new fires affecting 7,544 acres, including 10 new large fires, according to the website.

While fire crews work to contain the blazes, horse owners are getting together to offer safe haven for animals residing in the fire's path.

Texas horse owner Beth Rand spent this past weekend coordinating the evacuation of more than 80 horses from Bastrop County, near Austin, where flames are threatening homes and ranches. She said an email she sent to contacts outside the fire zone seeking help to transport those animals to safer locations drew an unexpected number of responses.

"It just went viral," said Rand. "We were able to place the horses with people we know and who we trust."

Meanwhile, Bryan Black, director of communications for the Texas Department of Agriculture, said this past weekend that concerned Texas horse owners established the Bastrop Co Fire Large Animal Info page on Facebook. The page contains offers of transport assistance, hay and feed supplies, and listings of locations willing to accommodate horses displaced by the fires.

"Texans everywhere are reaching out to help their neighbors in need," Black said. "It is truly incredible to see so many people volunteering their time, vehicles, and land to help those devastated by these disastrous fires."

As the fires continue to burn, Black said it is too early to determine just how many horses have been evacuated from fire-affected areas.

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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