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Saving your ranch and animals from wildfires

Chris Brunner, December 13, 2017

Firefighters fighting wildfire

Photo by Daria Devyatkina


Current news stories featuring terrified livestock are a stark reminder to ranchers and farmers of a Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fire and how it can spread at a terrifying speed.

The Napa-Sonoma fires destroyed 8,700 structures, valued at some $7 billion, and killed 47 people, dwarfing all previous fire losses. As of this writing the Thomas fire in Southern California has burned more than 235,000 acres making it the fifth largest fire in the state’s history.

Preparedness Tips Video

For horse and cattle owners wondering what they can do to help protect not only themselves but their animals, a video from WIFSS is a great place to start. Given by Dr. Michael Payne, WIFSS veterinarian, and volunteer firefighter, the Wildfire Preparedness Tips for a Firefighter presentation uses pictures, animations and videos to explain fire service response procedures and the specific actions that livestock owners can take to help protect themselves, their ranch and their animals.

First Responder Training Courses

WIFSS offers two training courses that provide first responders, veterinarians, and emergency planners with the tools to protect, respond to, and recover from consequences of disasters involving animals in rural communities, and the information needed to participate in the development of disaster response plans.  AWR 328 All Hazards Preparedness for Animals in Disasters, and MGT 448 All Hazards Planning for Animal, Agricultural, and Food Related Disasters are sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium. View course schedules.