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Terri Farley
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Friday, September 28, 2012

Where there's smoke -- and mustangs

 Dear Readers,

Many of us were worried this summer when flames of the Ironwood Fire burned 640 acres around BLM's Palomino Valley wild horse corrals. 
I asked Heather Emmons Jasinski, a very responsive Public Affairs Specialist for BLM, what would have happened if the flames hadn't been turned away in time? 

"With regard to an evacuation plan, the Palomino Valley Corrals has a substantial defensible bare ground area around the entire perimeter of the facility and in the event of a nearby fire it is not envisioned that animals at the facility would be threatened or evacuated.  If a fire were to occur nearby the compound as occurred recently, the defensible area around the complex should prevent  fire from entering the facility as the facility mostly consists of bare ground, steel and wooden corrals.  However, if the fire happened to cross the defensible area, the only fuel sources are wooden fence posts, dry manure, hay stockpiles and buildings.  If these fuel sources caught fire they would be combatted with a 2,000 gallon water truck at PVC and local emergency services.  Animals that might be located in pens near buildings or haystacks could easily be moved away to safe areas within the corral complex.

"Due to the logistics involved, large numbers of wild horses could not immediately be moved out of the facility within an emergency time frame if a fire were nearby or if buildings or haystacks ignited at the facility.  Since animals could be quickly moved away from any potential fires to safe areas within the compound, it would be in the best interest of the animals to remain at the facility and for the facility to practice applicable wildfire suppression."

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Posted by Terri Farley @ 4:51 PM

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