The wildfires in California are causing serious threats to all wildlife including horses.

‘The situation is devastating’

The recent low humidity, dry conditions and fast moving winds have caused the wildfires to spread across California. The international equine charity Brook USA has opened an emergency fund to help horses across the state that have been affected.

“Tens of thousands of acres are burning and images are emerging of horses being evacuated, roaming free or fleeing approaching fires. The situation is devastating,” said Emily Dulin, executive director of Brooke USA.

Volunteers and rescuers have been tasked with creating pop-up shelters throughout California communities with the primary focus to help abandoned and released horses. However, the rescue efforts have been difficult and complicated. When horses are threatened by the fires they flee and try to find somewhere to hide. This is even a larger problem if they become injured. It has been estimated that roughly 10,000 animals have been affected and displaced by the wildfires. The makeshift shelters are trying to take in as many animals as possible.

USEF has created a emergency disaster relief fund

In 2005, the United States Equestrian Federation developed the USEF Disaster Relief Fund after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The fund ensures the safety and well-being of horses during any time of need. Since 2005, over $1,000,000 has been donated to aid horses during disaster- reacted incidents. All money donated must be donated to aid horses and their owners.

Encouraging donations to help the horses affected by the California wildfires, US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney said: “As part of our commitment to the health, welfare, and safety of all horses, the USEF Disaster Relief Fund was created to assist horses impacted by devastating natural disasters such as these crippling wildfires.

“US Equestrian wants to continue to support the generosity of the equestrian community and those who have stepped up to offer assistance to their fellow horsemen and -women in a time of need. Donations to this fund allow us to continue to provide financial assistance to these groups and others involved in ongoing rescue efforts now and in the future.”