In a dramatic moment caught on video, a horse was seen running into danger to help guide other horses to safety as a rapid moving brush fire closed in.
The massive blaze — named the Easy Fire — erupted early Wednesday morning in Simi Valley, California, burning more than 1,300 acres in just a few hours, according to KCBS. The fire threatened at least 6,500 homes in the area and mandatory evacuations were issued, including for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.
KCBS was on hand when a group of Simi Valley residents worked together to save a herd of horses as the flames approached the area. The news crew filmed a tense moment when one of the horses that had already been retrieved from the area ran back into the smoke-filled hillside to meet two other horses and lead them to refuge.
According to the news station, all of the horses were saved except for a 28-year-old female, who had to be euthanized after breaking her two front legs while trying to escape the flames.
The Easy Fire is one in a series of blazes California firefighters are attempting to extinguish. The Getty Fire in Los Angeles and the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County broke out within days of each other last week, according to CalFire.
On Sunday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency due to rapidly growing wildfires, which include the Kincade Fire north of San Francisco, according to The New York Times.
Firefighters struggled to contain the Easy Fire in the hours after it began, but were optimistic about keeping it from spreading across a major freeway.
“The fire outflanked us very rapidly today, pushed by those 40 to 50 mph winds,” Ventura County Fire Assistant Chief Chad Cook said during a press conference, according to KCBS. “We did up to 65 miles per hour this morning, which made long-range spotting very, very dangerous and also quickly outpaced the initial attack resources.”
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“We feel we have a good contingency plan out in front of it in the event fire does cross the 23 Freeway and impact the houses in the Sunset Hills area of Thousand Oaks,” Cook added.
Over 800 firefighters, eight air tankers and nine helicopters are being used to stop the fire from growing, the Los Angeles Times reported.