Local community resources like your Conservation District are often the first and best place to look for assistance in recovering your burned property. Don’t wait until disaster strikes – the welfare of you pets and livestock after the fire is dependent on your planning and preparedness before the fire.
Conservation Districts are on the front lines of recovery. Cascadia, Okanogan, and other Conservation Districts recently impacted by wildfires have developed some useful assessment tools.
One such tool is the Wildfire Request for Assistance, which is a way for landowners to quickly provide critical information about their damaged property to their CD. We have modified it so it is applicable to any CD in the state. If you need to look up CD boundaries and contact information, look on our Recovery Contacts page.
The health and safety of your pets and livestock can be impacted well after the fire is out.Read below for resources and precautions regarding pets, livestock and wildfires.
PETS: Disaster supply kits can apply to pets too, and should include at least this partial list from the US Humane Society:
- Medications and medical records
- Sturdy leashes and carriers for transport
- Photos to identify your pets in case they are separated
- Food and water for at least 3 days
- Name and number of your veterinarian is case they are boarded or sheltered elsewhere
The most important thing you can do to ensure your pet’s safety is to take them with you if you evacuate. However, have plans ahead of time for emergency shelter arrangements for your pets. Many typical disaster shelters do not allow pets.
LIVESTOCK: Managing livestock during and after a fire is a challenge. Identifying what resources are available before the disaster is important. The following questions are a partial list of what should be considered:
- If there is sufficient time before an evacuation, do you have the needed equipment to transport the animals? Are evacuation routes open for such a transport?
- Are there areas on the property where the animals can be temporarily relocated that may be safer? Will there still be access to food and water if you evacuate? Every available bucket and trough should be filled with water if possible.
- Will veterinary services be available shortly after the fire to provide attention to burns, injuries, and trauma? Mark your animals with your name and contact information.
Smoke inhalation, stress, and confusion can persist in animals well after the fire has been extinguished. A full assessment of your surviving livestock should be made at first chance. The Washington State Livestock Coalition has recently ceased its operations, but several useful materials can still be accessed online, like this one-page Livestock Emergency Preparedness list or the organization’s resources library page.
Tap into the Washington State University Extension webpage on Wildfire Recovery for Agriculture for an extensive library of online resources for livestock care before, during, and after fires. Or visit our Resources Library for several more livestock management links.