Lions, tigers, bears, horses, goats, rabbits, chickens, cats, dogs and more have all been saved from the roaring flames of the Sand Fire in Santa Clarita that raced through 20,000 acres of dry vegetation and was only 10 percent contained by Saturday night.
The more exotic animals – lions, tigers and bears – were safe after firefighters were able to save their well-known rescue home, Wildlife Waystation.
County animal control officials Saturday released the numbers of more mundane animals and pets evacuated from the vicinity of the fast- moving brush fire.
Most of the evacuated animals have come from the Hansen Dam area, where Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control officers have been able to round up 228 horses, 52 goats and 29 chickens, said Aaron Reyes, the agency’s deputy director.
Officials also gathered up seven rabbits, five cats and two dogs from the Castaic area, Reyes said.
Of primary concern was evacuating the exotic animals at the Wildlife Waystation in Sylmar. a 160-acre animal sanctuary at 13831 Little Tujunga Rd.
Volunteers helped evacuate numerous animals, and the Waystation posted an update at about 7 p.m. on Facebook.
“The Waystation has been saved,” the update said. “The firefighters worked their butts off to contain the fires burning around the facility. That, with the change in the wind direction, gave them a leg up on containment. There are a few animals that are still coming out, but they have ceased evacuation of the rest of the animals, as they have been deemed safe.”
The sanctuary thanked “our community of animal lovers. It has brought so many tears of joy to our eyes to see how many people came forward to help us.”
The so-called Sand Fire was 10 percent contained as of Saturday night. It broke out at about 2:10 p.m. Friday near Sand Canyon Road, along the northbound Antelope Valley (14) Freeway.
Shelter for large animals has been made available at Agua Dulce Airport, Wayside Jail in Castaic and Pierce College in Woodland Hills.
—City News Service