Ranch Owners Return to Find 29 Horses Dead in California Wildfires

California wildfires kill many animals, but these are usually wild creatures dwelling in the California forests. However, these wildfires can also be deadly to family-owned animals. Tragically, 29 horses burned to death as a California ranch was hit by Creek Fire, one of the most dangerous active wildfires, had to be evacuated by its owners.


Ranch owner Patricia Padilla and her family were warned early in the morning by firefighters to evacuate the area immediately, as the fires had already spread too far into their property. Padilla told the LA Times “All I could think about was the horses, the horses, the horses.” Unfortunately, there was no time to save all of the animals.

Although 29 horses burned to death in the tragic event, some were rescued by people nearby. Oscar Martinez, who housed his horse at Rancho Padilla, worried that his horse would be a casualty of the fire. However, a friend was able to rescue his horse before the flames overtook the area.

The horses that were able to be rescued did not make it entirely unscathed. Many of the animals still had to be treated for cases of stress, smoke inhalation, and severe dehydration. A horse belonging to Ranch owner Virginia Padilla was able to make it out alive but sustained burns to 65% of his body.

Many of the horses burned to death as they were still locked in their stalls. Virginia Padilla and California Animal Control attempted to save as many horses as they could but were unable to free all of the animals from their stalls before the roof of the barn collapsed on top of them.

“The structures can get rebuilt, but the lives of the horses can’t,” Said Patricia Padilla of the tragic events, “That’s my biggest heartbreak.” After the fire passed through, the Padilla family returned to their ranch to find the devastating aftermath, including the charred corpses of the horses, burned to death in the ordeal.

The wildfires in California continue to burn everything in their path. Altogether, the fires have destroyed almost 800 structures and completely burned nearly 200,000 acres of land. California wildfires kill both wild and domestic animals, but with the aid of dedicated workers, a number of them are able to be saved.

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