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Equine Evac mobilizes to respond to large animal evacuations from fire zones

Equine Evac earl warren showgrounds
John Palminteri/KEYT
The Equine Evac group is mobilized to help horse owners coming from fire zones.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - In a rapid response, the Equine Evac team of volunteers in Santa Barbara have launched into action as Ventura County fires break out and spread.

Facilities at Pierce College and the Ventura County Fairgrounds have filled up,  and the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara has opened its gates and stalls for nearly every animal except for dogs and cats.

Equine volunteers are experts on setting up a system to categorize the animals,  assign stables,   post information and provide food.

 La Cumbre Feed is nearby and hay was delivered immediately.

Five horses were in the first trailer.  Depending on where the "Easy" fire in Ventura County goes, there could be a large demand for space quickly.

The community of Somis is near the fire zone, and it has many large animals.

Kathy O'Conner with Equine  Evac says,  "they have been amazing .  Without Earl Warren I don't know what we would do. Obviously the Thomas Fire and the mudslide was the big event of the century but we never know and we have had lots of little incidents where we have had evacuations.  We are here whether it's one horse, or 80 horses or 1300 animals like we had during the Thomas Fire."

The Equine command post trailer is at Earl Warren off of Gate C.

In the past the group has taken in goats, llamas and other similar large animals in addition to horses.

Fire / Lifestyle / Santa Barbara- S County

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.