Friday, September 30, 2005

Rescuing our horses from the Bell Canyon fire!

The last two days have been very dramatic around here. The little brush fire on the news Wed. afternoon turned into a big wildfire in four hours, and we had to evacuate our two horses and two goats from the Bell Canyon Equestrian Center.

As soon as Dinah got home from school we drove out to the stable. It looked incredible with huge firey clouds, and emergency vehicles zooming around in all directions.

Many people were unaware of the fire at all because it came on so fast.
We knew we were in for a long night.

At first very few were at the stable and it was very quiet. Then various messengers would appear and say, "get out now", but there were no trailers and the barn manager said "Not yet." The sky was getting REALLY red, sorry no photos of that. Then the official word came to get out-- there's only one route out of that canyon. Still no trailers. Then a CONVOY of volunteers driving trailers appeared, maybe 20-30 trailers, and we loaded them up as fast as we could. Our two horses and two goats were good getting in the trailers. And they're not always good! We helped load them all.

It didn't entirely go smoothly- lots of people freaking out, arguing, not sure where to go or what to do-- lots of screaming and accusing-- about 100 horses and four goats had to move-- some had never gone in trailers before-- but we all got out.
Our horses went about twenty miles to Hansen Dam, where they had horse show temporary stalls we could use.

The horses all handled the change well, at least so far. The volunteers were amazing- they ask for nothing. Almost all women driving these rigs. Our driver had just been to a vet clinic with a singed horse. They left in a rush to rescue other horses.

We hope to move back to our stable this weekend. No update on what it's like out there, but it's been snowing ash for two days around L.A.