Saturday, December 9, 2017

At least 46 Horses Dead Affter Lilac Fire Rips Through San Luis Rey Downs Training Facility (VIDEO)

What a nightmare.

At the San Deigo Union-Tribune, "Thoroughbred death toll rises to 46 from wildfire":

The number of horses killed at a thoroughbred training facility during North County’s Lilac wildfire has risen to 46, a spokesman for the California Horse Racing Board said Saturday morning.

A small number of additional horses remain unaccounted for after escaping from the facility, San Luis Rey Downs, in Bonsall, said the spokesman, Mike Marten.

The racing board previously put the number of horses killed at the facility at 35. The Lilac fire destroyed eight barns at the sprawling, 500-stall facility on Thursday.

Trainer Martine Bellocq also suffered second- and third-degree burns as she tried to rescue six horses from the facility. She was placed in a medically induced coma at UC San Diego Medical Center on Thursday.
Also at the Los Angeles Times, "At least 46 horses dead, others missing from thoroughbred facility after San Diego County wildfire":
Officials said about 360 surviving horses from San Luis Rey Downs were moved to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, and some 850 horses evacuated during the fires are stabled there.

A fundraiser for the San Luis Rey Downs horses on the website GoFundMe had raised nearly $478,000 as of Saturday afternoon.

Another 29 horses died at a Sylmar ranch overrun by the Creek fire Tuesday. There have also been reports of dead or missing horses and ponies from small farms and ranches throughout the region.

Santa Ana winds moved the fires so quickly and so unpredictably that those fleeing had only minutes to leave. In some cases, horse owners said they had to choose between saving themselves and their animals.

Some owners won't know the fate of their animals until evacuation orders are lifted and they can search their properties.