Shelter helping evacuees, large animals affected by Blue Cut Fire

Volunteers open shelter at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds

Shelter helping evacuees, animals affected by Blue Cut Fire

VICTORVILLE, Calif. - Dave Gross and volunteers throughout the area have turned the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds animal-style. 

"Oh man we got horses, donkeys, goats, chickens, turkeys, pigs, llamas, alpacas," Gross said. "I feel like I got my own little Noah's Ark going on here." 

But he says it hasn't been all horseplay for him this summer, spending most of his time saving animals from the Blue Cut Fire, and the recent Pilot Fire. 

"I didn't think that emergency was going to be 4 days later," Gross said. 

Thursday, Gross and others opened a new shelter at the fairgrounds in Victorville to help residents and their large companions.

This comes in the wake of a blaze that's continued to grow, and has sent more two and four-legged residents for relief. 

"We've had a number of fire events in the past where San Bernardino County Animal Control has responded to provide emergency animal sheltering both for large and small animals," Greg Beck, Program Manager for San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control said. "But this Blue Cut Fire has exceeded the number of animals that I've ever been involved with in an evacuation center to this point in time."

More than 1,100 animals have been rescued from the Blue Cut Fire, and about 600 animals are being housed at the fairgrounds.

As those like Gross continue to show some humanity, in the face of devastation. 

"The reason we do this is because the animals can't take care of themselves," Gross said. "They need the humans to take care of them. When you see an animal come off a hauler, and it's scared, and you see that fear in its eyes, you want to do everything you can to comfort those animals."

Beck said they have plenty of room for more large animals at the fairgrounds, with a local company CageCo helping build spaces for them. 

While the fairgrounds is the place to take large animals, Beck said the Devore Animal Shelter is accepting both large and small animals, while the Apple Valley Animal Shelter is accepting both cats and dogs.

For more on animal shelter and general information regarding the Blue Cut Fire, click here

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