Fires, Evacuations

Even if you’re not from Colorado, you’ve likely seen on the news stories about the multiple–and large–fires burning in our state. It’s a major topic of conversation around our office, because the folks we work with are spread from the Longmont/Fort Collins area (the High Park Fire) to Colorado Springs (the Waldo Canyon Fire) to the Eastern Plains (the Last Chance Fire).

Some fire-area equine events have been canceled, largely due to fairgrounds reaching their limits with livestock evacuees from area fires.

I don’t remember seeing these sorts of numbers for evacuations, acres destroyed, or containment percentages since the Hayman Fire in the summer of 2002. I worked for a different horse publication back then, and one of my fellow editors and her family, including her horses and other animals, evacuated their property due to the fire’s proximity.

At my folks’ place, where I was staying at the time, on the northwest side of the Hayman Fire, we had the horse trailers loaded with tack, as well as personal items, and we were hitched up ready to hit the road with the horses to evacuate to a friend’s place if the fire got any closer than it managed to get.

So I’m wondering: Do you have an evacuation plan? Have you discussed it with any of your horse-owning friends? Where would your horses go in the face of an evacuation? What would you take with you? Preparation is key when facing a last-minute escape from a fast-moving natural hazard. What kinds of things would you like to learn about evacuation preparedness?

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