Firefighters have rescue a scorched kitten with burnt paws from the smoldering debris of California’s wildfires as heartbreaking pictures capture the plight of thousands of pets and wild animals fighting for survival
Devastating wildfires continued to burn across western states, including California and Oregon, leaving more than 4.6 million acres of land completely scorched and hundreds of thousands of people under evacuation orders.
At least 40,000 residents were forced to evacuate in Oregon, with Gov. Kate Brown cautioning that 500,000 could soon follow, and around 42,000 had fled from California. In California, 24 people have died, 10 have died in Oregon and one in Washington.
Search and rescue teams are still searching for victims or survivors in burned down home and cars in the aftermath. Emergency crews dampening down hot spots near homes have also been rescuing as many pets as they can, leaving Animal Control crews and veterinarian groups scrambling for resources.
Daniel Trevizo, a Los Angeles County Fire Department captain assigned to the North Complex, told Record Searchlight that his team was working when they heard a kitten – now nicknamed ‘Fire Cat’.
Los Angeles County Fire Department Captain Daniel Trevizo (pictured) last week found an injured kitten while his team was cleaning up an affected area in the North Complex
North Valley Disaster Group animal rescuer volunteer moves a stray dog to a transport carrier after being found in an area burned by the Bear Fire in California
An injured 8 week old kitten with facial burns is being treated at SOVSC, which is a 24/7 hospital dealing with rescued animals from the destructive wildfires devastating the region on Saturday
An injured cat named Prince (center) is being treated for third degree burns on his paws, stomach and face by technician assistant Kaity Kelsey (left) and Vet assistant Kayla Weisz (right)both from Medford at the Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center
North Valley Animal Group rescue team tends to horses found in Northern California after the animals survived part of the Bear Fire in Berry Creek
‘While we were cleaning up an area we heard meowing and sure enough, this little kitten comes running up as friendly as can be,’ said Trevizo.
The area was still smoking as the kitten darted through the area.
After taking a quick video of the kitten, Trevizo placed it in the pocket of his fire jacket while he and his crew watered down embers near Lake Oroville.
‘We’re going ahead and keeping him safe and secure until we can drop him off to animal control,’ he said.
The extent of the kitten’s injuries weren’t clear at first, but Trevizo thinks the animal may have been singed in the flames and suffered burnt paws.
‘I’ll try to secure some food (at the base camp) for the little kitten here and see that it gets properly fed,’ he told the publication. ‘He’s a good little fire cat.’
Los Angeles County Fire Department Captain Daniel Trevizo on Saturday took selfies with ‘Fire Cat’ after it was rescued by emergency crews
Butte County Animal Control officer Linda Newman (right) prepares to load two donkeys that were found wander along a roadside, as Kari Zeitler (left) of the North Valley Disaster Group stages a horse for rescue that was left behind during the Bear fire
North Valley Disaster Group animal rescuers put out water and food for a small fox spotted along the roadside after the Bear Fire in California ripped through the area last week
Trevizo added that he saw in a firefighters’ text message group that another fire captain had discovered a cat hidden in debris and rescued it.
More than 500 miles north, Patti Candell was shocked to find that her home in Mehama, Oregon was still standing after evacuations forced residents to flee.
Candell’s home was in the path of the Beachie Creek Fire, which has killed at least four people and burned more than 188,900 acres. As of Monday, it is still zero per cent contained.
Most of the homes and structures in Candell’s neighborhood were destroyed, including her horse stable and barn.
In Mehama, Oregon, Patti Candell returned home after evacuations to discover her barn had been completely destroyed but her cows and sheep were incredibly alive
The large amount of wildfire across the West Coast have inundated the skies with a smokey haze that continued to cling over the weekend after fires sparked
North Valley Disaster Group animal rescuer Steve Wetherbee attempts to feed his ham sandwich to a stray dog found in the area near burned by the Bear Fire
‘It’s just, you know, devastating, devastating,’ she told CNN. Somehow, all her sheep and cows had survived the raging wildfire.
‘The barn is, well its back there, you can see just that pile of white stuff. It’s there, it’s a big, huge 30-by-48 (foot) horse barn, three stalls and all that fun stuff. And yeah, it was wiped out,’ Candell said.
Her house is just one of a handful that are still standing in Mehama.
‘The flames actually came up to the house on this side of the home and on the back and how it didn’t catch on fire is just amazing to us,’ said Candell. ‘It just, I don’t know how the fire works, how the wind is.’
Butte County in Northern California was also the subject evacuations, and is where Animal Control found a puppy wounded by the fire on Saturday.
‘As BCSO deputies and members of BCSO Search and Rescue were searching through properties impacted by the fire, they made an unexpected and welcomed discovery on a large property in Berry Creek, this adorable puppy,’ the Butte County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook.
A photo released by the Butte County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday shows a deputy holding a puppy found among charred debris in Berry Creek
Authorities named the puppy ‘Trooper’ (center) and transported it to the Valley Oaks Veterinary Center in Chico, California, to be checked out for injuries
A brief investigation by authorities revealed that ‘Trooper’s’ owner had several other dogs and was not able to locate all of them before evacuations began
Photos shared by the department showed the scared puppy covered in dirt and soot as an Animal Control crew member held it tightly. The property where they discovered the puppy has been completely devastated and the air holds a smoky quality to it.
The puppy suffered some minor burns and was taken to Valley Oaks Veterinary Center in Chico, California, to be checked out.
Authorities did some investigating and learned that the owner of damaged home has several dogs and was not able to locate them all before evacuations set in.
‘Our deputies decided to give this sweet puppy a name, Trooper,’ the Facebook post read.
Pictured: A Butte County Animal Control Officer puts out food and water for a cat, which was left behind, at a residence destroyed by the Bear fire
Shena Horton, 13, (left) exercises a wildfire evacuated horse at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg, Oregon, after the owner was forced to evacuate due to the Archie Fire
A wildfire evacuated horse looks out of a stall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg as around 94 active wildfirs burn across the West Coast this month
Butte County Animal Control officer Linda Newman (pictured) retrieves a horse left behind during the Bear Fire in California that has killed at least 10 people so far
A burned cat temporarily named Chestnut is seen recovering from her injuries at the Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center (SOVSC)
In Oregon, almost a dozen cats rescued amid scorching wildfires are being cared for at a veterinary hospital and staff members have posted their photos on social media hoping to reunite them with their owners.
The cats have burned paws covered in bandages. Some of their bellies are seared and, in one case, a cat nicknamed Depot because he was found by the Home Depot, is hooked up to oxygen because its lungs suffered damage from the hot smoke.
Rory Applegate, a veterinarian at Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center, says staff members are working even though some of them have had to evacuate or had family impacted by the blazes.
Applegate says the fires are a ‘huge emotional toll’ on the staff but they are balancing out the management of critical patients and making sure they can stay stable themselves.
She said she expects animals to feel the impact of the heavy smoke in the coming days, too.
An injured cat named Prince is being treated for third degree burns on his paws, stomach and face by technician assistant Kaity Kelsey (right) and Vet assistant Kayla Weisz (left) both from Medford, Oregon, at the Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center (SOVSC)
Veterinarians and animal rescue crews have asked residents for help as they attempt to car for a large number of injured and displaced animals during the wildfires
Veterinary technician Cathy Ackerman checks the medical equipment by the cages for the injured cats at the Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center (SOVSC)
The group created a GoFundMe to collect donations for supporting local animals and pets amid the wildfires.
‘These fires have decimated our communities and have limited the functionality of our local pet rescues and support agencies,’ the group wrote in a message.
‘We established this GoFundMe to receive these funds for use within our community to support displaced and injured pets, to provide resources for our local pet rescues, and to provide critical funding for financially challenged fire victims.’
It has already raised $34,000 of its $100,000 goal.
Meanwhile, a ‘firenado’ has been captured on camera in California as wildfires tear through large swathes of the west coast, killing at least 35 people.
Footage showing a wildfire meeting a column of air to create a tornado-like effect was posted on TikTok on Thursday went viral over the weekend.
Social media users nicknamed the state ‘Hellifornia’, with one writing: “2020 said ‘Hey, y’all know what’s missing? A firenado! That would be so awesome! I got the perfect place, too. Here me out….”‘ one person wrote.
Another posted to Twitter: ‘2020 is something straight out of a dark science fiction novel, y’all ever seen a tornado on fire?’
The clip was posted as firefighters in California were bracing for a shift in weather that could bring stronger winds Monday and stoke dozens of fires still raging across the state.
California this week experienced what’s being dubbed a ‘firenado’. The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Northern California through Monday night, saying strong southerly winds and low humidity will result in elevated fire weather conditions across the region
Twitter users called the wild fire a ‘firenado’ and nicknamed California ‘Hellifornia’ after the video was posted on Thursday
A search and rescue team, surrounded by red fire retardant, look for victims under burned residences and vehicles in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Talent, Oregon on Sunday
Firefighters Kyle Parker (L) Battalion Chief Bob Horst (C) and Sam Hochstatter from the Grant County Fire Department work to secure the fire line on the Cold Springs Fire on Thursday in Omak, Washington. Dozens of wildfires are raging throughout West as record high temperatures and dry vegetation fuel the fast-moving, destructive blazes, destroying hundreds of acres
The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for Northern California through Monday night with Incident Meteorologist Dan Borsum saying strong southerly winds and low humidity will result in elevated fire weather conditions across the region.
He said conditions may improve a little bit Tuesday but not a lot. Borsum added that the air quality in the region may not improve until October.
More than 16,750 firefighters were doing battle with fires that had already killed 22 people, destroyed more than 4,100 structures and engulfed scores of communities from the Oregon border to Mexico.
Then a Northern California sheriff said Sunday that two more people have died from wildfires, bringing the state’s total death toll to 24. Oregon had 10 fatalities and a one-year-old boy died in Washington.
The fires on the West Coast have been among the worst ever recorded. In California over 3.2 million acres were charred last month.
The Bobcat Fire burns in the Angeles National Forest north of Arcadia prompting evacuations, north East of Los Angeles
Firefighters watch the Bobcat Fire after an evacuation was ordered for the residents of Arcadia, California on Sunday
A firefighter works to extinguish the Bobcat Fire after an evacuation was ordered in Arcadia on Sunday
A helicopter drops water over the Bobcat fire, burning in the Angeles National Forest, near Arcadia, California
There was also a warning in effect in Oregon on Sunday night after the weather service said that the wind, humidity and fire danger will ‘likely contribute to a significant spread of new and existing fires.’
Gusts of wind are expected to reach up to 40 mph.
At least 10 people were killed in wildfires that burned the past week throughout Oregon where 35 fires have devastated 902,620 acres.
Officials have said more people are missing from other blazes and the number of fatalities is likely to rise.
Andrew Phelps, Oregon’s emergency management director, said that the state was preparing for a ‘mass fatality incident.’
‘There are going to be a number of fatalities, folks who just couldn’t get warning in time and evacuate their homes and get to safety,’ Phelps told MSNBC on Friday.
One resident told Reuters about the scene in the town of Pheonix, ‘It looks like a war just happened here,’
The fire melted the motor right out of my truck – it drained down the driveway,’ said Manson, a 43-year-old construction worker. ‘I lost everything. I lost all my tools. My truck. I can’t work. I lost $30,000 worth of guitars. All gone.’
Nearly a week after wildfires ignited across Oregon, which forced thousands of residents to flee their homes, firefighters spent Sunday setting and holding containment lines and starting to assess the damage.
A firefighter looks out over an area where crews are working to create a boundary around the Riverside fire near Fernwood, Oregon on Sunday
A search and rescue team from Salt Lake City, Utah, including a canine, look for victims through gutted homes in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Talent, Oregon
A burned tree smolders after firefighters and community members extinguished a wildfire on Sunday (left). A search and rescue team, surrounded by red fire retardant, look for victims under burned residences and vehicles in the aftermath of the Almeda fire in Talent (right)
The Oak Park Motel was destroyed by the flames of the Beachie Creek Fire east of Salem, Oregon, Sunday
Flames from the Beachie Creek Fire melted the aluminum rims on a car near the destroyed Oregon Department of Forestry, North Cascade District Office in Lyons, Oregon on Sunday
The Webber family searches for belongings through their home, which was gutted by the Almeda fire, in Talent
Evacuees from the Riverside Fire stay in tents at the Milwaukie-Portland Elks Lodge in Oak Grove, Oregon on Sunday
Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Chief Christiana Rainbow Plews and several of her colleagues in Oregon lost their homes in the Holiday Farm Fire.
She left her home to respond to a downed power line and said the fire it caused quickly spread, making her issue a level 3 evacuation order within a couple of hours.
‘I not only have my life to put back together, I also have a fire department to put back together,’ Plews told NBC News. ‘And I honestly don’t know how I’m going to do that.’
She said many people on her team worked a week straight with only a 24 hour rest period by Sunday when the blaze had burned 161,872 acres and was only five per cent contained.
The US Forest Service said weather conditions in areas of the state, which include mist and favorable wind, was helping to limit the rapid spread of the blaze and dispersing smoke and fog to better firefighting conditions.
Two of the Oregon’s largest fires that continue to threaten communities in Clackamas and Marion Counties remained completely uncontained Sunday, but more favorable weather and an easing of some evacuation warnings in areas indicate an improving situation.
One of the large fires ravaging the area, the Riverside Fire was still within half a mile of the small city of Estacada, but the spread of the blaze has slowed.
In Marion County, where firefighters have been battling the Lionshead and Beachie Creek fires, evacuation levels of several cities were reduced during the weekend.
People in central and northeast Oregon, including in Eugene, Portland and Salem, continued to face hazardous air quality Sunday.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reported Air Quality Index numbers that were off the chart.
Air Quality Index is considered hazardous between 301 and 500. Portland´s index is currently at 426.
Values above 500 – which two cities, Madras and Roseburg both reported having – are beyond the index´s scale.
Officials advised people to stay indoors and that the low visibility, caused by fog and smoke, is creating hazardous driving conditions.
In Salem, where the Air Quality Index is 394, a dense smokey haze that clouded roads and homes made it difficult to see further than 50 yards ahead.
The National Weather Service in Portland reported that rain is expected Monday night, which could help clear smoke in Oregon next week.