Farmers and Animals Flee Napa Fires, Find Refuge at Former Fairgrounds

Posted by Krissy Howard
horse owner
Mercury News 

Farmers fleeing from the Napa wildfires with their horses, sheep, and goats were able to find refuge at a former fairgrounds set to be demolished.

The Northern California wildfires have devastated much of the area, so far resulting in nearly two dozen deaths and forcing countless others to evacuate their homes.

For those with animals in tow, relocating is not so easy, but thanks to a former fairgrounds scheduled to be demolished, over 100 horses, sheep, and goats have found a safe space to rest for now.

former fairgrounds horses
Daily Republic

“It’s very fortunate we still have these available, I don’t know what we would be doing with 100-plus horses if we didn’t have these,” Mike Ioakimedes, a business development manager for the fairgrounds said in an interview with Mercury News.

The number of animals housed in the barns and stables is expected to rise, and one animal control officer expects 300-400 horses to arrive over the next few days.

Although the fairgrounds are designed to accommodate 1,000 horses, many of the stables aren’t in the best condition, leaving a team of dedicated volunteers, staff, and county officials working to house as many horses as possible while getting by on donations of food and hay.


While the farm animals have a place to rest their heads at night, many are feeling the stress of the situation.

“They can sense it,” said animal owner Connie Reed. “Even yesterday before we decided to bring them here. They’re nervous. They can smell the smoke. They know something’s not right.”

The animals and their human counterparts will remain at the fairgrounds until it is safe to return to their homes. To help those affected by the wildfires and stay updated on events, visit the City of Sonoma Facebook page.

Have you ever had to flee with your animals due to a wildfire? Let us know in the comments section below!

WATCH NOW: How to Prepare Your Pet for an Emergency


Farmers and Animals Flee Napa Fires, Find Refuge at Former Fairgrounds