More than 200,000 people have been forced to evacuate fires in Southern California. Since Tuesday, four separate fires have consumed 116,000 acres. The largest, the Thomas fire, covers 96,000 acres and is the size of Denver, Colorado. As of today, it is only 5% contained. Fanned by Santa Ana winds of 60-70 mph, the fires spread 31,000 acres in 9 hours – one acre a second.
Horse owners near Sylmar have been transporting horses and other large animals to evacuation centers at Pierce College, the Ventura County Fairgrounds and the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. More than 200 horses at Pierce College are being treated for injuries including severe burns.
A reporter at Fox 11 Los Angeles, Gina Silva, discovered a horse who had fallen into a crevice at is tried to escape the flames.
Hundreds of Thoroughbreds at the Bonsall San Luis Rey Downs training center were turned loose as barns caught fire. Groups of panicked horses ran between firefighters and trainers as the smoke intensified. Later in the day, many were transported to Del Mar Fairgrounds. Still others did not survive, some collapsed in the mele and others were trapped in their stalls.
Photography Courtesy: Gina Silva/Twitter, David Crane and Wes Woods II, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG, Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times and ABC News