Clackamas fairgrounds provide safe haven for animals
As the sky darkens in shades of red and orange, the Clackamas County Event Center staff is doing what it can to help.
Several wildfires in the area have forced many to evacuate horses, cattle and other livestock to avoid the flames. And many are coming to Canby.
Executive Director Laurie Bothwell said the fairgrounds opened up to horses and livestock Monday evening and the place is bulging with animals that had to be evacuated from the path of any number of wildfires burning to the east and south.
"We've been rolling in animals since yesterday," said Bothwell. "Our horse stalls are all full, but we are still taking animals. We've got goats, sheep, chickens, llamas, we are taking everything."
And even with a full house, Bothwell said she and her staff would find a way to make it work as more horses and other animals are evacuated.
"We've been getting a lot from the Scotts Mills area today – they are evacuating – we've been doing this all night," she said. "This is amazing, but we've done it before."
To find out what's available, call the fairgrounds at 503-266-1136.
Taking a head count
On Wednesday morning, Ryan Scholz, district veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, joined Bothwell on a tour of the fairgrounds.
His task was to take a census of all the fairgrounds to see what they might need and if they had any available room. Polk County is full on horses, but has a little room, while Yamhill and Benton counties still have room. The Oregon State Fairgrounds has room, but with all of its staff furloughed, there is no one available to take calls.
And while the fairgrounds in Canby are near capacity for horses, Bothwell said that the yellow lot can be used if people have their own panels or the horse is trained to be tied to a trailer.
No volunteers are needed at this time as the owners and the Posse are caring for the animals. Wilco is helping with feed for those at the fairgrounds. There is also a food donation/water table set up for people.
- Deborah Guinither contributed to this story
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