Equine Rescue

Two Thousand Horses Evacuated Ahead of Australian Bushfires

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“The fires are still not controlled and many landholders do not know how horses left behind have fared,”

bushfire2An estimated 2000 horses have been moved out of high-risk areas of South Australia ahead of the major bushfires that have raged across the Adelaide Hills.

The state’s horse-owning community rallied in the relocation effort, which occurred over three days ahead of the blazes taking a grip of the hills over the weekend.

The fires, said to be spreading in all directions, are believed to have destroyed at least 30 homes. They have burnt more than 12,000 hectares.

The blazes expanded rapidly on Saturday in what were considered to be the worst fire conditions in more than 30 years. Conditions were better on Sunday, but the tinder-dry surroundings provided ready fuel for the fire.

Horses from the Adelaide Hills and the southeast of the state have been relocated to public parks, sports fields, showgrounds, racecourses, veterinary clinics and private properties in areas out of the fire danger zone.

The animals, which were moved in a massive effort co-ordinated through social media, are spread across a wide area of the state.

Volunteers with floats pitched in to help those unable to move their own horses.

brush fireHowever, not all were moved and there are growing fears that horses and other livestock may have been lost in the blazes.

Just five hours before writing, the Country Fire Service tweeted that more than 400 stables were available at the Morphettville racetrack for horses affected by the fires.

“The fires are still not controlled and many landholders do not know how horses left behind have fared,” said Julie Fiedler, who is executive officer for Horse South Australia (Horse SA).

“We need to reach out again in the days to come to help people who may be facing many months of nursing fire-affected horses or perhaps even to deal with a loss.”…(CONTINUED)

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