The fires that have devastated thousands of acres of wildlands and disrupted the lives of thousands of California residents have sent Shane and Kim Parson of Ceres into action.
The owners of Diamond Bar Arena and publisher of West Coast Horsemen, a monthly magazine distributed through feed and tack stores and ranches in California and Nevada, came through last week with 25 tons of hay for horses displaced by the Valley fire. Their donation was coupled with a 25-ton hay donation contributed by Ken Berry, owner of Ken Berry trucking. Berry then had the two truckloads make its way to Middletown area of Lake County, which has been hard hit by the Valley Fire.
The fire, which started Sept. 12, has burned over 76,000 acres and destroyed over 1,910 structures. Four persons died in the blaze. Many horses had to be rescued or face unpleasant deaths. A rescue effort to round up displaced horses with no homes to go to have been hampered by a lack of food. That's why the Parsons got involved.
"It seems like the right thing to do," said Shane. "We have a soft spot in our heart for a lot of things. We're in the horse business."
Parson decided to help out after a customer from that area frequents Diamond Bar Arena. Kevin Teigh is helping coordinate donations through FEMA.
Many of the displaced horses are finding their way back to their owners, he reported, but corrals and barns have been destroyed.
The Parsons have also helped donate equipment for the horse rescue efforts near Jackson affected by the Butte Fire. On Saturday, Sept. 19 Parson took a Kubota all-terrain vehicle of his to Amador County for use in rescue efforts there.
"They were good on hay otherwise we would have taken some up there," said Parson, who was shaken by the devastation he saw.
He allowed ag students from Modesto Junior College to come by the arena and picked up and haul 80 portable horse corral panels for use in the Jackson area.