Wildfires have once again started to spread across California – forcing people and animals to evacuate. The Woolsey fire, just one of the current three fires, burned its way into Malibu. The fast moving flames gave residents little time to evacuate, but some pet owners refused to leave their beloved animals behind.
As smoke filled the air, making it hard to breathe and see, pet owners headed to the beach with their fur children. Zuma Beach became a refuge for residents, horses and dogs. Although they were out of the predicted path of the flames, the huge plumes of smoke made the water barely visible.
Sand whirled around them as many held onto their horses and dogs waiting for the fire to pass. One woman refused to leave any of her horses behind, so she abandoned her vehicle and hopped on their backs to ride them to safety.
“There was just no time to do anything,” Talley Hutcherson, the owner of Connemara Ranch told Los Angeles Times. “Within hours we had to make the decision to come to the beach because the PCH was shut down.”
She was able to transport four of her horses to the beach, but had six more at a different location. She went to rescue them with the help of a friend. With no time to spare, she and her friend left the vehicle and rode the horses to safety.
Once the horses were safe at the beach, she returned to get her vehicle with flames only 100 yards away. “This is the definitely the worst fire I’ve been through and I’ve lived here almost 40 years,” she said. “It was pretty intense.”
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Connemara Ranch posted, “Horses all ok and we made it out safe.”
The Woolsey fire has scorched more than 111 acres and is currently 25% contained, according to CalFire.
Horses and dogs were not the only animals who took to the beach for safety. Llamas and a lone owl were pictured on the beach. Wildlife was also affected by these devastating fires, and attempted to evacuate before the flames engulfed their natural homes.
Evacuations have been lifted in some parts hit by the Woolsey fire. “BREAKING: Evacuations lifted in parts of Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, north 101 open at Valley Circle,” reports CBS Los Angeles.
Some are returning to find their homes untouched, while others do not have a home to return to. Malibu is said to look like a war zone with “charred earth as far as the eye can see.” The winds are expected to increase over the next few days fueling the fires, while the firefighters restlessly battle on.
Over 200,000 people and countless animals were forced to evacuate from just one of the current three wildfires. People and animals need your help. Click below to donate to people and pets affected by the California wildfires. Thank you to all the firefighters and brave people risking their lives to fight the flames and save lives!
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.