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Fire Evacuation And Triumphant Return

By: Gary Clark

A wildfire near Estes Park quickly grew to over 20 acres, destroying over 20 homes as it sent plumes of smoke and ash into the Elkhorn Lodge and Guest Ranch last Saturday. Over 150 firefighting resources and air support from the nearby High Park fire responded quickly, but with 60 horses, donkeys, rabbits and other animals in harm’s way at the Elkhorn, an emergency evacuation to the fairgrounds was necessary. With quick thinking and the help of many concerned citizens, this unplanned logistical exercise was successfully accomplished in less than three hours; all animals arrived safely.

A special thanks goes out to the Estes Valley Fire Protection District, the Estes Park Police Department, the Westernaires and Sombrero Stables for logistics and trailer support… a tip of the hat to all of you generous folks.

On Sunday morning, with the fire evacuation over, early risers in Estes Park got to experience a blast from the past as the herd of 60 horses evacuated from the Elkhorn Stables trotted leisurely back through downtown to the Elkhorn Lodge and Guest Ranch. Their fire vacation day over, the these noble equine ambassadors of goodwill got back to what they do best – showing visitors to the High Country of Colorado the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains by horseback.

Comments (1)

  • mokyfellow

    In the face of such bad news from Estes Park and other parts of Colorado, it was refreshing to read this “feel good” story. It would seem that quick thinking and possible prior planning avoided a disaster with these animals. My hat is off to all of those involved. Having spent several days in two visits to Estes Park, I am able to visialize this “parade”.

    Jim Allen
    Glasgow KY

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