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Fire and Safety Tips for You and Your Alpacas




Helpful Tips on Wildland Fires



Recently going through a fire brought some experiences and tips to mind I thought I would share with you. The fire we went through was called the Sand Fire. Named because it started in and area named Sandridge. All fires are named and when you want to look up a fire incident, it is best to know what the name of the fire is you are looking for. This fire was started by a vehicle just doing a simple quick U turn in a road through a small area of dry grass ……..4,240 acres burned, 20 homes lost, 47 outbuildings. Started 7/25 100% contained 8/2.


These are tips I found helpful in an extremely emotional and stressful time:


Know the difference between Voluntary Evacuation and Mandatory Evacuation –

Voluntary – you have time to have your friends with trailers come and get your animals and get them to a safe place of your choice.

Mandatory Evacuation – You will be given a specific time in which you may get your animals out 1 time with the help of Large Animal Services or authorized personnel. You will most likely not be allowed back in your property once you have left. You will not have a choice on where your animals go and you will be under pressure to get them out.

You will not be allowed to stay on your property unless you have a swimming pool and a 5 gallon bucket to put over your head when you are in the pool.



Free – 50 Top Scanners- Listen to Cal Fire, USFS, Police, and CHP in your area


YubaNet.com – Fire News

Up to date in real time, fire news. This site is updated more frequently than any other site I have found. Maps, evacuation notices, containment notices, structures lost.


El Dorado County Watch – Find a facebook page of this kind for your area

Up to date news on fire, animal evacuation, people evacuation, maps, etc.


Website – Cal Fire –


Up to date on fire activity. Usually updated in AM and PM.


Reverse 911 – register both your home phone (land line) and your cell phone so that you may be called and notified of an evacuation. Get it registered through Cal Fire website.


Locate and become a member of the Large Animal Rescue in your area.




Those of us affected by the fire………clean out your gutters, water down your gutters, get your generator ready for backup power so you have water if you are a stay and hold, ensure you have defensible space 100-500 feet without undergrowth which could lead to a crown fire. If you have a quad with a 15 gallon sprayer fill it with water, get it fueled and be ready for spot fires, carry a shovel and hoe. Finally, get your water hoses attached at multiple points around your house.


Know ahead of time how many trailers it takes to move your alpacas. Halters lead ropes for enough alpacas? Or will you be herding them into trailers?  Do a staged dry run.


A simple plastic water bottle with water in it, a piece of glass in dry brush can cause a wildland fire.


Laurie Findlay

Updated August 14, 2014