Skip to content

California Wildfires Cause Widespread Evacuation



A group of wildfires fueled by gusting Santa Ana winds in Southern California has forced the evacuation of a number of equestrian facilities in the area. All 90 horses stabled at Russ Thompson Stables in Chino Hills, Calif., have been evacuated. The horses have been split between several locations including fellow walking horse trainer Scott Benham’s Golden West Farms in Ontario, Calif., and a fairground that is safe from the flames for now.

A state of emergency has been declared in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties, where the fires have destroyed blocks of homes, closed major roadways and interrupted air travel across the country.

California Governor Gray Davis has asked President Bush to declare the four areas hardest hit by the fires federal disaster areas, and while President Bush has not yet done so, he did tell White House reporters that he would help in any way he could.

The Cedar Fire, the largest of the four burning in the San Diego area, has killed nine people so far. The fire was reportedly started by a lost hunter who lit a signal fire. The Old Fire and Grand Prix Fire, which threaten the San Bernardino area, merged Sunday, Oct. 26 creating a line of flames between 35 and 40 miles long. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but authorities are searching for two men under suspicion of arson and a possible murder.

Stay tuned to this site for updates as they are learned.

More Stories

  • Walking In The Smokies stall deadline approaching

    The Walking In The Smokies Horse Show, scheduled for April 8-10, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is preparing for their first annual show and would like to send a reminder to anyone needing stalls that the deadline is March 15. Please contact Lexi Stinnett at 828-550-8520 to reserve stalls on the show grounds. Read More
  • Trainers' Show announces judges

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association National Trainers’ Show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. March 18-20, 2021. Judges for the three-day event will be Wayne Dean, Newton Parks and Johnny Puckett. Read More
  • USDA prepares for 2021 show season

    The USDA recently conducted their virtual HIO training course for the 2021 show season. The USDA and industry recently received the final report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and some of the recommendations in that report are communicated in the new processes the USDA will implement in 2021... Read More
  • WHOA hosts virtual awards ceremony

    On Saturday. February 20th, the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) held their National High Point awards for 2020 on their WHOA Facebook page with winners who chose to be zooming in to accept their awards... Read More
  • WHOA to host virtual awards ceremony on February 20

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) will recognize their award winners from the 2020 show season during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2021. The show will be broadcast live on WHOA’s Facebook page beginning at 6 pm central time. Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase announces judging panel

    The FAST Spring Showcase is pleased to announce that John Fikes, Newton Parks and Sam Sorrell will judge this years’ two-day event. The show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. April 16-17, 2021... Read More
  • Obituary – Kimberly Woods

    Kimberly Lynn Woods, age 47 departed this life on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky... Read More
  • WHAA annual barn party rescheduled due to inclement weather

    There will be a lot of great items to auction as well as breeding fees to some of the top stallions in the industry and training fees for many of the top trainers. Everyone is encouraged to bring your young horses to preview for the upcoming show season. Read More
  • Birth Announcement – William Jackson Bauer

    Dr. & Mrs. Will  Bauer of Gainesville, Georgia welcomed their first child, William Jackson Bauer, on December 4, 2020. Jack weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces at birth... Read More
  • Equine Obituary – Master's Razzle and Jazz

    The Walking Horse Community and the Alan Riddley Family lost Master’s Razzle And Jazz, the reigning 2020 World Grand Champion, on Friday, February 5, 2021, due to complications of colic. Master’s Razzle And Jazz, affectionately known as “Lurch”, will forever be remembered by his gentle ways, powerful gait and his eye-catching presence. Read More