Santa Barbara Firefighters Fight to Round Up Farm Animals for Evacuation

Posted by Amber King
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They don't teach bird wrangling in firefighter training.

Firefighters in Southern California have fought fiercely to battle the flames of the Thomas Fire. Over 270,000 acres have been torched so far, and officials expect the wildfire will burn well into the new year.

More than 1,000 buildings have been reduced to ash, and many more have been threatened by encroaching flames. One of the buildings that narrowly escaped destruction is a livestock enclosure in Toro Canyon, which is located in Santa Barbara County.


Around 100 animals including goats and chickens are housed in the wooden pens. Flames caught hold of one side of the structure, but firefighters were grateful to find the animals generally unhurt.

They planned to move survivors out of the ashen area to somewhere safer, but collecting farm animals ended up being more challenging than they expected. The goats were loaded into trailers with minimal complaint. However, when it came time to catch the chickens and geese, the situation turned to chaos.

Eventually, the crew gave in and decided to leave the birds where they were. To ensure the safety of the birds, the fire department is sending someone to check in on them daily. Also, the birds are currently not in the fire's path and should live comfortably until recovery efforts make it to the canyon to clean up debris left by the fire.

Have you ever tried to catch chickens? Let us know in the comments.

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Santa Barbara Firefighters Fight to Round Up Farm Animals for Evacuation