News photo, photographer uncredited.
1:11 a.m. and I'm waiting to hear if my horse has to be evacuated from the Sand Canyon Fire. I don't have a horse trailer nor vehicle that can handle same, so it's more complicated than with most horse owners boarding where we do...
Notation from 7.23.16: 1:43 a.m.
Fire progressed more rapidly overnight than expected and the power to boarding stable went out, so in the understandable confusion my horse was evacuated by a trainer along with those of her clients. I know where he is at least (nearby Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, on the other side of the freeway. Fires tend not to jump 10-lane major freeways, as there is nothing on them to burn.)
Notation from 7.23.16: 9:43 a.m.
What began as a half acre fire yesterday afternoon has spread to 5,000 acres overnight due to our 110F weather heat wave, Santa Ana (hot desert) winds and severe desiccation of the landscape in our 5 year drought. Fire season normally is September, so this is way early. All of the roads to my horse's boarding stable now are closed. I am going to check on his welfare at the facility to which he was evacuated last night at 1:30 a.m. Yes, Santa Clarita, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Sylmar and Acton are all Los Angeles proper, despite our myriad place names. "Paradise," eh?
Los Angeles Fire Dept.'s own maps, Sand Fire 7.24.16. "X" marks our boarding stable.
Below, "cross" under fire marks our location of horses' evacuation. These maps show the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles, also showing northeast portions like Santa Clarita and the Angeles National Forest (site of the terrible 200,000 acre Station Fire 4 years ago) with the San Gabriel mountain ranges.
Notation on the day of the above maps, 7.24.16: The 22,000 acre (or 34 square miles) fire here indeed has shifted as of last night and has now burned to about 3 miles from the now evacuated ranch where my horse normally is boarded. It's bad, folks. (Our own home is not near this area.) 900 firefighters are here, embattled, and the hot, dry, windy weather compounded by 5 years of severe drought has made containment quite difficult.
The Sand Fire eventually required 3,000 firefighters, burned 43,000 acres, destroyed 18 homes and killed one person. Arson suspected. My horse was safely evacuated with the other boarding stable horses and safely relocated to his home after the fires were extinguished. Thank you to a whole bevy of caring people at the stable who saved all of our horses, no horse left behind. One of the rescuers and I were interviewed on local news radio, since it was a historically large evacuation of over one thousand horses and lots of people as well.
Left, sporting his flymask, Indy is seen in his temporary evacuation stall, complaining! The horses gradually were returned to their stable home (smallish trailers, lots of trips.) When put in the exercise turnout corral of his home digs, Indy ran and ran and ran and ran.... My horse pictured in happier days:
By the by, this entire area of horse-zoning (less than 2% of the whole SoCal basin) is slated to be destroyed forever by the impending High Speed Rail construction. California voters actually mandated that it follow existing transportation corridors like freeways, but instead HSR jacked up the costs by billions to send their route tunneling under Federal parkland mountains, right through the last affordable horse-owning zoning here. California officials and HSR employees have ignored taxpayers, homeowners, horse owners and veterinarians'' evidence and testimonials, with HSR claiming that a screaming 400 mph bullet train hurtling next to horses and riders will have no effect whatsoever. Ridding Los Angeles of its last affordable horse-owning sector will open the northeast corridor to mega-density development, and mega-billionaire developers seem to control all of California governance these days. And we noted the Los Angeles Fire Dept.'s own suspicion of arson, perchance to clear the way?