TELLER COUNTY — The High Park Fire continues to burn just west of Cripple Creek in Teller County.
It has reached an estimated 1,600 acres and 37 percent containment. No structures have been damaged, and no lives lost.
Several hundred homes in the area remain under evacuation orders or are in pre-evacuation status leaving some ranchers with few options for their livestock.
Double Eagle Ranch(PBJ Cattle) in Divide, Colorado with the help of Teller County Animal Control is helping transport and care for livestock. They've taken in horses, heifers, sheep, goats, and potbelly pigs.
"The Double Eagle Ranch provides a place where the animals can stay, be fed, and cared for outside of harm's way. We're having the animals brought to us, we watch over them and the owners come up twice a day. They feed and take care of them unless they need assistance from our staff," said Bob Burton, Ranch Manager, Double Eagle Ranch.
Burton says ranchers typically have a wildfire plan for their livestock, but some folks who move up into the mountains don't have one. He says the County Animal Response Team then steps in to help find safe places where they can go. The Double Eagle Ranch volunteered to be one of them.
"The county is contacted through animal control and then they come up with a plan to retrieve those animals and get them out of harm's way. They'll make the decision where the best place is to take that particular animal. They'll contact us and then tell us we have so many animals coming your way, and they'll give us a brief report on the animal," said Burton. "We try not to intermingle between owners so we're not spreading any animal diseases. Not that we're expecting any of these animals to have diseases, but it is just extra safety for the animal."
The ranch has standard pens set up at the moment, but as more livestock comes in they have portable pens.
"The owner has all of this available to us and being kept informed of what we're doing. We have portable corral systems so we can handle quite a few animals here at the ranch," said Burton.
Ranchers should not drop their livestock off at the ranch, they should go through Teller County Animal Control.
Burton encourages ranchers to create a wildfire plan for their livestock. Ranchers interested in learning more about developing a plan or any other questions can call Double Eagle Ranch at (719) 661-3234.