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Goose Fire Causes Hundreds Of Animal Evacuations

Aug 1, 2016

The Goose Fire burning in the foothills of Fresno County near Prather has burned more than 1,800 acres. It’s threatening 400 structures and has forced hundreds of people to evacuate. The blaze is 15 percent contained. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports that people aren’t the only evacuees. 

Credit Courtesy of Allen Cal Fire/Allen Messick

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that 600 animals have been evacuated off mountain ranches and homes because of the Goose Fire.   

When the fire started Saturday goat and rabbit farmers Allen Mesick and Randy Shumaker were out of state.   

“It was major panic mode and they said oh, it’s going to be at the top of Black Mountain in an hour and a half," says Mesick. "Well our house, our farm is on the way to the top of that mountain.”

Fire Crews fought the blaze around their house with bulldozer paths.
Credit Courtesy of Randy Shumaker's Facebook

The couple thought they had lost everything. But crews saved their farm Saturday by digging a 30 foot bulldozer path around it.

“They not only did all that," Messick says. "But they went on the property and fed and watered animals. I mean they had no idea how to feed an Angora goat, how to feed a rabbit. But they did it."

On Sunday Mesick’s partner Shumaker evacuated the 120 goats, hundreds of rabbits and 10 or so herding dogs from their property.  

But not everyone was as fortunate as the couple. The Central California Animal Disaster Team says a few ranchers couldn’t save all their horses so they opened their gates and hoped they’d gallop to safety.