7-10-08

This morning we headed out in separate directions again. Claire brought her rig over to be used as needed. Jason headed out to deliver horses and pick up a horse in the greater Sacramento area with Claire’s rig. Tawnee and Claire headed to the Concow area to evacuate as many equines as possible. You can see from the picture how smokey it is at our rescue. There was a huge list of horses that needed to be evacuated from impending firey doom.

Tawnee was driving past live flames and decided she had better turn the big rig around while she still could. Yes, that is a real forest fire, and the big one was on the other side of the road, but Tawnee could only see the smoke from it. It looks like a measly little flame, but it only takes a spark… When you’re pulling your rig that is about 40′ long around, you try not to take chances.


Here is a news chopper recording the events. The air was so thick the firefighting helicopters were grounded.

We ran into some people who had some horses that were staying as long as they could. They had evacuated from being closer to the fire about 8 miles, leading their horses, and they had no food. Tawnee gave them some food to help their horses out.


The horses definitely enjoyed being able to eat food. Their owners just couldn’t bare the thought of parting with them. They plan on leading them out again if the fire comes closer.

Driving our huge trailer, we’re pretty much grounded to well maintained roads and roads we know. All day Tawnee had been parking the rig and hiking steep hilly roads looking for horses. With the high heat and smoke she thought she was going to keel over dead, but help was on its way. As Tawnee was trudging along a little windy road that some horses were supposed to be up, two police officers in a SUV gave Tawnee a ride back to the truck. They decided to stick around and help out. We shared the address’ that were still left to check that we had gotten from North Valley Animal Disaster Group.

Now we had our own police escort. We had a great strategy. Drive along, as soon as the going got rougher, Tawnee would hop in and go the rest of the way. Thankfully all the horses had already been moved from the danger zone that Tawnee was able to get to.

With no apparent horses left in Concow area that we were aware of that we could get to, Tawnee headed back to the privately owned sanctuary to try to get the poor things out. They all hauled panels up from the barn in the searing heat, and made a pen attached to the trailer.

It seemed like an eternity and the equines still had no desire to get anywhere near the new panel pen.

Claire called up the owners and they gave permission to hack down some electric rope from another pen. Then Claire, Tawnee and the officers walked from one end of the pen towards the other, with all 4 holding the electric rope, being moving human fence posts. It was less than 5 minutes and they were all in the trailer.

Claire also rescued a cat.

We headed off to get two more horses in Cherokee. Their owners wanted to make sure just in case the fires go a crazy direction that their horses will not be in jeopardy.

Finally at 9:30 pm Tawnee and Claire made it back to the rescue. The poor critters were definitely bewildered by their new surroundings.

They settled in and are happier now.


While Tawnee, Claire and the police officers were evacuating horses, Jason was taking Pavo and Preston to their new wonderful homes. It’s nice that there are at least 2 less mouths to feed here now…

Preston is at such a wonderful place. Horses there get 3 meals a day, 1-2 lbs of carrots, hand fed with love, and all the care and attention they could want. All that hand fed with love stuff is pretty good, Preston’s new mommy made a wonderful vegan meal to go for Jason. Thank you so much Sandy! It tastes super good, just utterly delicious.

Pavo is at a wonderful boarding stable where he will begin his training under saddle with an emphasis on dressage and jumping, with the side benefit of easy going trail riding. Katie absolutely loves Pavo and is going to give him an awesome home.

After dropping Pavo off, Jason headed up to pick up a horse that had developed stringhalt. His owner was going to shoot him despite it being the neighbours girl’s, who loves this horse, 15th birthday. Her mother determined to save this horse, and make it so her daughter would not remember her 15th birthday as the day her best horse friend got shot. The girl gave up her birthday money to help save Ranger. She would rather see him be humanely euthanized rather than be shot in the back yard with his buddies watching. We’ll get him evaluated by our vet when we can.

Our current tally for the evacuations are: 25 equines, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 cockatiel. A total of 31 extra mouths to feed! We have an extreme emergency need for panels as new horses in an already stressful situation do not tend to stay off of an electric fence and they tend to go through it. All Road Communications has graciously donated $4,000 to start getting the new equine housing we need, so tomorrow morning we are going to be ‘raiding’ our local Tractor Supply stores. Yes, plural stores if needed. We cannot thank you enough Chris and Janet!

There were two stallions that were supposed to arrive at our rescue and spend the night in our stock trailer as there was absolutely no where else in the great Oroville / Chico area for them to go. The Chico State University is completely full, as well as all the other evacuation centers. Thankfully other arrangements were made at the last minute and they didn’t have to be shoved into our stock trailer in the middle of the night. We still have 25 extra equines here and more no doubt on the way tomorrow.

Once again it is long after midnight when the blog is getting done, we are looking forward to the day when the evacuations have settled down…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.