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Evacuating animals a huge challenge

By Daniel Kraker

Flagstaff, AZ – The Schultz Fire burning about five miles north of Flagstaff has forced the evacuation of about 750 homes in the Timberline Estates and Wupatki Trails neighborhoods. One of the biggest challenges is evacuating all the animals in the area. Arizona Public Radio's Daniel Kraker reports.

Coconino County Sheriff Bill Pribl is coordinating the evacuation effort. He says evacuating animals has been complicated by a lot of people not being home.

"And so their neighbors are coming to their aid, and moving animals, but earlier in the day, it was just rows and rows of horse trailers, that were moving in and out of the neighborhoods. And that has obviously been a real challenge to move your big animals and find a location for them."

Those animals are now being taken to Fort Tuthill county Park, after the Second Chance Center for Animals was evacuated yesterday because of the Schultz Fire. Michelle Ryan is with the Coconino Humane Association, which had to take its animals to Second Chance Saturday because of the Hardy Fire.

"We are expecting everything from dogs and cats to livestock, chickens, poultry we are in a rural area, so we have a lot of different animals out here."

Ryan says Second Chance will be providing free vaccinations for animals that need them. She also says they need donations of food and water for the animals at Fort Tuthill, as well as volunteers to help out with animals. Ryan says its been an exhausting 48 hours.

"I actually am personally evacuated right now, so my family, my animals are in a hotel room I'm just hoping my house is there tomorrow."

For Arizona Public Radio, I'm Daniel Kraker