NewsLocal News


San Diego Humane Society helping Caldor Fire impacted animals

California Wildfires
Western Wildfires
Western Wildfires
Posted at 4:19 PM, Aug 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 15:24:40-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Lending a helping hand to our four-legged friends in need, a team from the San Diego Humane Society deployed to El Dorado County in Northern California Thursday to provide animal care as the Caldor Fire continues to grow.

After a request from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the SDHS will go behind the fire lines to care for animals who are sheltering in place.

The Caldor Fire in the northern Sierra Nevada has destroyed dozens of homes, and over the weekend, authorities closed down a 46-mile stretch of U.S. Route 50, the main route between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Caldor Fire has burned 126,182 acres and is only 11% contained, Cal Fire reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

With their bags packed and their vehicle ready to go both Officer Joy Ollinger and Officer Sandra Anderson with the Humane Society were ready to hit the road Thursday to begin their nearly 10-hour trip to El Dorado County.

RELATED: New round of winds fuel fury of Northern California wildfire

“I'm excited for the experience and the chance to help the animals that need help, the people that need help,” Anderson said.

Ollinger and Anderson are part of the San Diego Humane Society’s team that’s specifically trained in dealing with fires.

San Diego Humane Society Sgt. Austin Seuferer said, “Our teams train and are ready to go behind fire lines if that's what's needed for the current mission.”

The team’s main objective is to provide extra support for the crews there, which could mean several responsibilities.

Ollinger said, “I'm sure they are really overwhelmed because they've been dealing with this for a while. We’ll help with welfare checks. We will bring food and water to those evacuated and can't get to their animals.”

Something San Diego crews know all too well. Last September, they rescued horses and sheep during the Valley Fire.

And now they’ll combine their training and experience to provide assistance to those in Northern California.

The SDHS crew will be deployed for 10 days to assist with field duties and other animal control duties.