Horses take refuge in Boulder County Fairgrounds as Calwood fire burns nearby – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2020-10-18 19:15:39 –

LONGMONT, Colorado – The CalWood fire has burned more than 8,600 acres since it started on Saturday, making it the largest recorded wildfire in Boulder County history.

More than 500 horses, sheep, pigs and goats spend the weekend at the Boulder County Fairgrounds as the Calwood Fire continues to burn on the Front Range. So many cattle needed shelter, the organizers of the stables were forced to return the evacuees.

“We had 60 horses, so we didn’t know where to go,” said Wren Mehan, a team rider at Triple Creek Ranch. “All of a sudden we saw this huge cloud of black smoke coming over us.”

She and her riding team were at a competition when they saw the fire. In less than an hour, their 60 horsepower was in trailers and headed for safety.

“We had a couple of horses panicked because they haven’t been towed for 15 years,” she said. “They are in this new environment where they are panicking and they don’t know what is going on.”

Many other breeders and horse owners say the effort to save their animals has been a huge task.

“I’ve been with Boulder County for 36 years. I’d say last night was the biggest evacuation I’ve experienced here at this facility,” said Joe LaFollette, director of Boulder County Fairgrounds. “The trailers were going up all the way from the parking lot to the road.”

Now, as the CalWood fire continues to burn, homeowners wait to be notified of the fire’s destruction,

“We’re doing fine and that’s all that matters,” LaFollette said. “Everything else we can replace. So we’ll see what happens.”

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