On Sunday October 21, 2007, the entire Southern California area where hit with fierce Santa Ana winds, the fear of fire was in everyone's minds and it was realized around 1PM, when the wind caused down power lines to start a fire up by Santa Ysabel. We all watched the fire coverage on the news and watched as acre after acre the fire burned, causing massive destruction in it's path. This fire was called the Witch Creek Fire, because it started in Witch Creek Canyon. At 9m it was said the fire was heading towards San Pasqual Canyon, just 5 miles north of us, I decided to hook the truck and trailer up and start moving horses, just in case, as prevention, or so I thought. I loaded Slick and Shine and headed to Del Mar Fairgrounds, dropped them off and got them settled, on the way back I called Carolyn and told her they where fine and asked how things where up there, she said so far so good, the news is saying it is in San Pasqual Canyon. I told her I would come back to the ranch take another 2 horses down and come home and get a couple hours sleep, and see where the fire was at that time. As I came up the grade on Highland Valley Rd, I saw 2 police cars, doing door to door mandatory evacuations, I felt my heart leap into my chest, as I rounded the corner and saw 15 fire trucks and fire personal, I stopped and asked where it was, they said it was 300 yards from the road and they did not advise me to go forward, I said I have to go! I jammed my foot to the floor, called Carolyn on the cell phone to get out and get out NOW! I got back to the ranch, grabbed Allie and Allegro and loaded them in the trailer, Alfonso and Oscar, took my 4Runner and went to the house and picked up Bubba and Ketchatan. I could not get Star as she ran and hid under the bed. I gave hay to Cassie, Flame, Silk and Jewell and prayed they would be ok. Carolyn, Jerry, Carolyn's mom, Dean and Ruby and Alfonso and Oscar all left, with me the last to leave with the 2 horses, I pulled left out of my driveway, went a half mile and came to a halt with a 100 foot wall of flames where coming at me over the oak trees, I started to panic, but realized I needed to keep calm, get the truck and trailer turned around on that narrow road, if I didn't stay calm, Callie, Wyatt, Jace, Allie, Allegro and I would certainly die. I got turned around, stopped at the entrance to the ranch, I wanted to get out and let the doomed horses out of the barn, as I looked in the rearview mirror I realized I did not have time and once again, gunned the engine in the truck and and left the ranch and the horses behind. Sobbing all the way to Del Mar, I got there numb, tired, scared and overwhelmed with what had happened. My only hope was that the horses who where quietly munching their hay, where overcome with smoke and just went to sleep. The feeling and vision of what happened that night will be with me the rest of my days, as will the memories each of those horses gave me. Del Cielo Silk age 25, Sedeyra's Flame age 23, Lumiars Nova age 4, Celestial Bay age 10, Magnum's Jewell age 7 and her unborn foal, will forever be in my heart. Del Cielo Arabians will go on, a new barn will be rebuilt, in honor of the 5 horses and unborn foal who lost their lives that horrible night. While these 5 souls where lost, they where not be lost in vain, as they allowed Shine, Slick, Allie and Allegro to live. May their Arabian spirits forever guard those who live at Rancho Del Cielo.
Written on October 24, 2007
In the years that have followed the fire, a day has not gone by that I am not reminded of the horses lost that fateful night. I feel blessed to have Slick, Shine, Allegro and Allie in my life.
Se Deyra's Flame(Red Tape x Bint Se Deyra)1985- October 21, 2007
Del Cielo Silk(Cal O Bask x Bint Se Deyra)1982-October 21, 2007
Lumiars Nova(Lumiar Amadeus x Bint Fonda Bask)2003-October 21, 2007
Celestial Bay(Zodiac Matador x Bey Fabrege)1997-October 21, 2007
Magnums Jewell(Magnum Pysche x Bint Fonda Bask)2000-October 21, 2007