Palmer Fire
This horse was evacuated from an earlier Southern California wildfire, not the Creek Fire in Sylmar. Photo: OnSceneTV

Terrified horses and larger animals frightened by the roaring Creek Fire in Sylmar were herded to safety at an evacuation center at Pierce College in Woodland Hills Tuesday, but the facility was soon packed to capacity.

Officials turning away arriving horses offered an alternate site for safe evacuation, but it was in Lancaster 65 miles away.

That drive would usual take about 70 minutes, but time for the trip would likely be significantly increased by fire-related traffic.

Officials of the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department said large animal sheltering was available at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster, at 2551 W. Avenue H.

The shelter at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Griffith Park hard already also reached capacity.

Hansen Dam Recreation Area was also being used as an evacuation center for large animals, but that was reaching capacity by late morning.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger had urged residents in the area with horses and other large animals to consider moving them to alternate shelter even before evacuation orders come through, given how quickly the fire is moving.

“Better safe than sorry,” Barger said.

Small animals and pets were able to find safety at West Valley Animal Shelter, 20655 Plummer St.; East Valley Animal Shelter, 14409 Vanowen St.; and Sunland Park, 8651 Foothill Blvd, Sunland/Tujunga.

— Staff and wire reports

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