While areas of Louisiana have experienced devastating floods caused by historic amounts of rain, the severe drought here in Southern California has had a terrible impact on what one firefighter of 40 years called the worst wildfire he’d ever battled.
The so-called Blue Cut Fire, which began Tuesday in the San Bernardino Mountains, has burned more than 25,000 acres as of Thursday morning. More than 82,000 people have been evacuated, and, sadly, hundreds of them may have no houses to return to.
One dog left behind in the West Cajon area is very lucky to be alive.
— Kirk Hawkins (@kirkhawkins) August 18, 2016
When he saw Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mike Mohler, the dog, who appears to possibly be a Rottweiler mix, ran to him from a burning structure and leaped into his arms, according to a post yesterday on Cal Fire San Bernardino/Inyo/Mono Unit’s Facebook page.
“Seeing that dog run out of those flames was pretty amazing,” Mohler told KCBS. “It sheltered in place until it actually saw help, but it just wanted help. It needed to get out of that area.”
The dog was treated for minor burns, given food and water, and taken to the Apple Valley Animal Shelter. Hopefully the lucky puppy will soon be reunited with his owners.
— Town of Apple Valley (@AppleValleyCA) August 19, 2016
‘If People Are at Work, Their Pets Are at Home’
Although it’s not yet known why the dog was left behind, it’s likely because, according to some comments on the Cal Fire Facebook post, many residents weren’t home when the fire started.
“People are not leaving pets behind,” wrote Priscilla Jaynes. “If people are at work, their pets are at home, and sometimes you can’t get through to them in time. Once police close a road, there is no going past the blockade. I know someone who lost their dog this way. It was devastating.”
Debe Webb added a comment saying that’s exactly what happened to her. “My husband spent eight hours on the roads trying to get to Wrightwood to our pets,” she wrote. “We were both at work down the hill when the fire started. He also had to walk five miles because they would only let them get so close by car. He got all three dogs and himself out.”
My heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible wildfire, and the heroic firefighters who are battling it.
How to Help Animals Displaced by the Blue Cut Fire
Three shelters are currently taking in evacuated animals evacuated due to the wildfire. Dogs and cats are being taken in by the Apple Valley and Devore animal shelters. Larger animals can stay at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds, which is also serving as an American Red Cross Shelter.
For these shelters’ latest donation needs, check their Facebook pages:
You can find more shelter information and make a monetary donation by visiting the American Red Cross website.
Photo via Facebook