Horses Evacuated from British Columbia Fires

Most horses are now safe from forest fires that have been burning west of Kelowna, British Columbia, thanks to the efforts of the Kelowna SPCA, the B.C. Interior Horse Rescue, and the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team.

The fires drove more than 11,000 people from their homes over the weekend, while several thousand more remain on evacuation alert.

"It's a bit of a stand-down day, all of our transporters are on call, but we're pretty sure most of the horses are out," said Kim Stinson, president of the B.C. Interior Horse Rescue.

According to Stinson, volunteer transporters evacuated about 100 horses from the area. Most of the animals are staying at three area foster farms.

Stinson said the fires are under better control now, mostly due to favorable weather conditions, including light winds that have kept the flames from spreading.

Although the horses are out of immediate danger, Stinson said the next step is ensuring there are adequate supplies to care for the animals. During similar fires in 2003, owners couldn't return to their farms for six weeks.

"Once you are evacuated, you can't get back in, so many of these owners have hay and feed, but they can't access it," she said. "We have no idea how long these horses will be out for."

Those who want to donate hay, or money to buy feed, can do so by contacting the Kelowna SPCA at 250/861-7722, or Stinson at 250/379-2293.

Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.