APPLE VALLEY – As the smoke dissipates, the destruction of the Blue Cut Fire becomes more evident. All mandatory evacuations have been lifted other than those in Lytle Creek and the West Cajon Valley. The lifted mandatory evacuations is a reason for celebration for some, and cause for despair for others as they return to what once was their home.
The Blue Cut Wildfire tore through San Bernardino Communities with little time to gather belongings for many. In only three short days the burnt or burning acreage swelled to over 37,000, nearly 38 square miles. Many grabbed their loved ones, their animals and took the short journey away from the comfort of their own home to evacuation centers. Most who love their pets had to separate temporarily hoping to reunite and return to an intact home.
The Red Cross and Animal Evacuation Centers were up and running with extremely short notice and prepared to accept evacuees. The community including individuals and business donated time, and food needed for all the humans and animals accepted into the centers. As evacuations are lifted, people are first going home to see if they still have one. Some are ecstatic to find out their home was spared, only to look around and see the destruction of neighboring homes.
From close to the time the fire started, the Apple Valley Animal Shelter and San Bernardino County Fairgrounds have been open to accept the evacuated animals, providing exemplary care to those evacuated animals. Some came in with burn injuries but all are being treated and otherwise cared for. Volunteers provide attention, walks, clean up, feeding and much more to the animals. The Mojave Desert Animal Rescue has worked alongside these evacuation centers.
Now as people return to their homes, it is essential for them to collect funds, collect donations and locate qualified fosters to provide care for the displaced animals. “We have started trying to get people to foster pets of any species for those who lost their homes,” said Mojave Desert Animal Rescue (MDAR) Founder/Director, Annie Lancaster.
With the belief that those who lost their home should not also lose their pet(s), MDAR is also offering animal-related assistance to those affected by the fire. Requests for help from those still with their pets have already started pouring in and as people return homes those requests are expected to multiply. Those in need of help can fill out a simple form and through community donations, MDAR will do their best to assist with those needs. To supply the needs of those willing to foster, a lot of financial help will be needed as fosters bear no financial responsibility for the animal(s) fostered.
The need for funds is urgent and with the pets now at the shelter, as well as the property loss, the amount needed is expected to be high. You can help by donating to the You Caring Fund to help raise the funds necessary to assist the many types of animals that the Blue Cut Fire made homeless. They are also accepting Paypal donations to: MDAnimalResQ@gmail.com. All donations are tax deductible. Checks or money orders can be sent to Mojave Desert Animal Rescue P.O. Box 260 Apple Valley, CA 92307.
MDAR has supplied a list of the items needed for those affected by the Blue Cut Fire and their pets. “Think of what you’d need for your pets if your home burned down,” said Lancaster. “We don’t want them abandoned at shelters because they have no resources.” Donated items can be taken to Bear Valley Animal Hospital in Apple Valley, and left in the MDAR box in the lobby.
Anyone willing to open their home to one of many types of pets can fill out the animal care and foster questionnaire.
Also, necessary for the efforts of those assisting the displaced pets, is a large secure storage locker to store donated items that evacuees will need. The space available now is limited but all supplies offered will be needed in the efforts to assist the people in need of help for their own pets as well as the foster homes. If you have a secure storage area available, preferably in Apple Valley, you can contact Annie Lancaster at (760)961-5980.
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