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Northern California peeps - check in!

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    Originally posted by poltroon View Post
    Yes; but staying when under orders is not a thing to do lightly. It's vexing for emergency personnel to be worrying about you, and if you do eventually leave it's a one way trip, so only what you can get out in a single load.
    This I know. Vexing isn't probably a strong enough word. ljc, I was very comfortable with her plans and prior effort to ensure that sheltering in place was workable including local wildland fire review and know about the plans.
    Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; John Gilliespie Magee, Jr


      Originally posted by MGLpony View Post
      Regarding Marrissa Dorough, the articles I have read do not indicate that she was involved in evacuating any other horses. Rather, she had to drive to the place where she boarded her horses to load them up. The fire moved faster than anyone anticipated. I was simply responding to an earlier poster that seemed to blame the two individuals that hit the horses, that those people should have evacuated earlier.
      We had just loaded up almost all of my friends horses (who owned the property), the two left being the mini that was hit and had to be shot by the neighbor and the pony that arrived to UCD with Ava. We had trucks and trailers in route to get the last two of her horses and my six when the cops came through to say we had to leave now. Never a warning before that. We all thought we were being preemptive by evacuating when the canyon two before us was called for a warning to start evacuating animals. I didn't just turn them loose. I was running down the road with them trying to get them past rings of fire down the main road to get out of the canyon. A ball of flames shot out over the road right at the moment I had to let the two I was leading the herd with go as they were overtaking me and had been dragging me along and I was at their hips trying to keep up and everyone was heading the right way and seemed to be boxed in with cars/trucks. That flame shooting out in front of us made all the horses turn right and head up the hill to the second house on the property. It makes me sick to read about the two horses hit. My friend's mini was hit and apparently my Knabstrupper mare.

      I cannot tell how many hours we slaved away building the fences for my horses to finally get out of the toxic barn I moved them from. Working 70+hrs a week at my jobs, going without sleep to get it done. I had them there for nine days and lost almost everything I've worked double jobs for years for. Lost my best friends and bonds I can never get back. I just moved back to CA in December and what a bitter taste it has left. Now that I'm not in a state of 24/7 cannot sleep anxiety about Ava with her being a bit more stable, the crushing loss is hitting pretty hard.

      One neighbor got his family out but stayed to defend his house. He passed out from smoke inhalation and woke up with his shoes on fire. He had to roll into his pool to put himself out.

      Nobody had time to evacuate any animals from that canyon except for the load of horses we got out. 60+ alpacas died and 15?+ horses. Most of the homes are gone. So many other people set horses loose that night and got them all back, but they weren't in that canyon. No one has ever lost a home in that canyon before. And of course right after I move mine this nightmare happens. So many things I wish I did differently. Hindsight is awful. I still can't wrap my mind around this is my reality.


        Interstellar Hugs. What a harrowing story. Those who have not experienced it have no idea how fast these fires can move.
        The Evil Chem Prof


          I am so sorry for your horrific experience, and loss of innocent lives. Please let us know your preferred way of contributing to Ava's care (or other suggestions). She is one brave mare.


            I am so sorry Interstellar. You did the best you could with the information you had and I'm just gutted for you that it did not turn out okay.


            I get very tired of people who type or say that things like this couldn't happen to them. Prepare, learn, ask questions, and hope you never have to live the moment where you find out for yourself.
            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


              I was just recalling San Luis Rey Downs and the fire that swept through and decimated that TB training facility on December 7, 2017. It ended up killing 46 horses.

              Fire can move frighteningly fast. If the fire is big enough, it makes its own winds. Poltroon's comment is spot on; easy for people who have never seen a wildland fire's fury to think it would never happen to them. Prepare, ask questions, talk to local wildland fire crews (the guys that fight non-structure fires although they will ultimately end up having to work burning structures), PREPARE and hope you never, ever need to see if your preparation was successful.
              Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; John Gilliespie Magee, Jr


                I appreciate it. Worst time of my life right now. And it just adds so much more to have people implying that I didn't do everything I could. Or that I just let it happen. Those horses were my life and I worked so hard in so many ways to have them and try to give them the best life I could. I don't even have words to describe what their loss means to me and how much regret I have.


                  Interstellar, this is a devastating story and my heart goes out to you. I can't even imagine, and I don't want to. Always remember your intentions, and don't let anything you hear distract you from that.


                    Interstellar, I can't even begin to imagine what you have been through. Know that you have done everything you possibly could for your horses. Many people that comment forget that this is a real situation they are commenting on and generally they don't have all the facts. Jingles for you and Ava.


                      I hesitate to comment because this is a huge loss for Marrissa that will have a lifelong impact. I can imagine it was a mad scramble to get horses caught, trailers hooked up, get horses loaded, etc. all while the flames and embers were exploding down the ridge. My heart hurts for so many that lost animals that night.

                      However, there is no honor for the lost if we choose not to learn from these experiences. As my farrier has advised me, "Don't let a good wreck go to waste." This was usually following an animal crisis or loss. He meant no disrespect and I try to follow that idea in the hopes that it will help another in the future. These fires are not going away; rather, they're going to become more frequent, larger, and demonstrate extreme fire behavior. (I've been around for Valley Fire 2015, Tubbs & Nun Fire 2017, Camp Fire 2018, and now LNU Complex Fire). Preparing involves education, drills, personal experience, observation, evaluation, and questioning. As I mentioned earlier, hindsight gives us the luxury of coulda, woulda, shoulda and that is essential to change/improve what we do next time. For those who have experienced a loss (house, animal, person), I don't expect them to take a clinical approach to this, maybe with time, maybe not ever; but, for the rest of us, this process can result in information that is lifesaving. Remember, for California, we still have peak fire season ahead of us, for another two months.

                      Oh, to provide an example of how loss can result in lifesaving information...In the 2017 Tubbs Fire a number of individuals (I want to say, around 7, mainly elderly) were found deceased in their garages. The reason - power failures meant that garage door openers wouldn't work and the back up battery had not been maintained or hooked up. Manually opening these doors was too difficult for the elderly owners. Now, the warning to "leave garage doors open" is issued with Red Flag Warnings.


                        Sadly, Marrissa’s mare, Ava, crossed the bridge today. She’s now reunited with her five pasture buddies. Godspeed, Ava, and my sincere condolences to Marrissa. No one should have to go through what she did.
                        R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

                        Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.


                          Originally posted by MGLpony View Post
                          Oh, to provide an example of how loss can result in lifesaving information...In the 2017 Tubbs Fire a number of individuals (I want to say, around 7, mainly elderly) were found deceased in their garages. The reason - power failures meant that garage door openers wouldn't work and the back up battery had not been maintained or hooked up. Manually opening these doors was too difficult for the elderly owners. Now, the warning to "leave garage doors open" is issued with Red Flag Warnings.
                          just a comment here since I owned a garage door service/installation company and later worked for the garage operator manufacturers.... if a garage door is installed properly and maintained the force needed to open/close that door is less then ten pounds...a kid could/should be able to open or close the door.

                          When I saw the California law requiring battery backup to a part of any new or replacement garage door operator I sent a note to my former company asking if they were instrumental in this, the new law was news to them. Unless a the battery is changed every two to three years it is worthless. So the state that has the environment on its mind has just created more hazardous waste as these small batteries will most likely never be recycled.

                          All residential garage door openers made since 1975 have a mandated manual disconnect. All garage door operator manuals clearly state the door must be balanced correctly/

                          As for the CA fires, my wife and SIL built a cabin on the Feather River, it burned twice..the acreage is now just trees as SIL could not face rebuilding the third time. Former BIL's place is within eye sight if where the Camp Fire began, he has fortified the place with multiple water resources and he would not leave


                            Interstellar, so very very sad to hear about Ava. May she live on in your heart forever.


                              Interstellar, just adding my voice to the condolences. For some reason this news just crushed me this morning. Ava was an anchor of hope for better times ahead.

                              Please know that there are a legion of horse people standing by you right now, in that circle of pain and grief that we know all too well.


                                Interstellar, I am so sorry.


                                  Originally posted by ljc View Post
                                  Sadly, Marrissa’s mare, Ava, crossed the bridge today. She’s now reunited with her five pasture buddies. Godspeed, Ava, and my sincere condolences to Marrissa. No one should have to go through what she did.
                                  Oh no. I am so sorry to hear about Ava. How heartbreaking for Marissa.