February 12, 2017

Loma fire taken with my iPhone just before my adventure
The Oroville Dam spillway is reported to be failing tonight and mandatory evacuations have been ordered. The groups are swirling with offers to help move horses and livestock in the area. I wish I was close enough to help.

Which reminds me that I never posted about my adventure during the Loma Fire back in September 2016. 

I was riding around the ranch observing the huge fire happening to the east. I remember marveling with a few barn-mates that we could actually see the flames licking at the ridges while riding my horse around our loop. I checked Facebook while I was putting my horse away when I noticed that my friend had posted a plea for help in evacuating 20 horses from a mandatory evacauation area. I was with my truck next to my trailer, so I told her I was I was on my way.

The drive was a bit of an adventure: the freeway exit was closed and blocked by fire trucks, but I figured out how to get around that, then the drive through the winding roads with the hills on fire burning all around me. The most unnerving part was driving around unattended sherrif road blocks because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find a spot to turn the truck and trailer around if I had to (I had never been to this barn before). But when I did encounter an actual sherrif, I was only a short way from my destination.

The ranch I was headed to is in a canyon where cell service sucks, so I was driving on faith that my directions were good and they still needed my help. I arrived on site and once I had two horses loaded my phone couldn’t tell me which way to go. Luckily the navigation system on my truck worked and I was able to navigate to the evacuation site.

I got two horses to the evacuation center, then I went back for more. On the way there another friend posted that she also needed help, so I told her I would be there as soon as I finished at the first site. When I got back to the first site all of the horses had been moved. They had help (who cleverly remembered to move hay and feed) so I headed off. The second site, on my way home, was not in a mandatory evacuation area and eventually they decided they didn’t need help moving horses.

I didn’t take my trailer back to the barn in case anyone else needed help during the night. I parked near my house a little after midnight. Everything worked out fine with the people I worked with. If the end of the world is coming, I want to surrounded by horse people.

By levanah