Nearly 30 horses died at a ranch as wildfires rapidly engulfed thousands of acres of the southern California landscape.
The family who owns Rancho Padillo lives up on a hill by the ranch and awoke to the Creek fire flames at 3:43 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“All I could think about was the horses, the horses, the horses. And (the firefighters) were like, ‘Get out, get out, get out,’” Patricia Padilla told the Los Angeles Times. “The structures can get rebuilt, but the lives of the horses can’t. That’s my biggest heartbreak.”
The ranch, built more than 20 years ago, housed 60 horses. The family was calling horse owners with the unfortunate news Wednesday.
"It hurts a lot because these horses are family," Shelby Hope, who has been going to rodeos at the ranch for five years, said. "They're not just horses — they're horses that we know, that we've become close to."
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