This year’s historic wildfire season has so brought 4,241 wildfires across Canada, which have so far scorched more than 27.1 million acres. And it’s only August.
And all the blazes aren’t originating in Canada, either. An out-of-control wildfire that crossed over the US-Canada border into Osoyoos, BC, last weekend forced over 700 residents to evacuate. The town is 400 km east of Vancouver and has a population of approximately 5,500. Among those told to flee their property were Dave McGlynn and Sherry Zarowny who operate Sun Hill Riding Centre –a pretty daunting procedure, as the farm houses 30 horses.
“The first priority was to get the horses on the trailer and it was pitch black, and they’re suspicious animals anyway. And a couple of our guys, they are a little difficult to load,” McGlynn told CBC Radio. He also explained that one of their horses has moon blindness and had to be coaxed onto the trailer with their voices.
ALERT, the Animal Lifeline Emergency Response Team, which is a group dedicated to helping animals in emergency situations, also helped with the evacuation. All of the couple’s horses were shipped out of the danger zone, but it was a harrowing night.
“As we were loading the last couple, I mean, the flames were all around us and it looked like they were only a few hundred feet [away],” McGlynn told the broadcaster. “We were just blessed, really, that we got them all out with no injuries or mishaps.”
Luckily the farm was spared as well. The couple talked about their frightening experience on iHeart Radio – you can listen to the interview here.