Photo Credit: Orange County Bird of Prey Center
The Silverado fire has ravaged more than 14,000 acres of Orange County, sparked evacuations, threatened homes and seriously injured two firefighters who are still fighting for their lives. The fire is currently 45% contained and evacuations have been lifted.
Whenever there's a fire, wildlife is affected, and we recently received an email from Dawn, a volunteer with the Orange County Bird of Prey Center and the center's director Peggy, showing just how devastating the fire can be for some of the littlest victims.
The Orange County Bird of Prey Center rehabilitates & releases owls, hawks, eagles and falcons. They believe most raptor injuries are prevented through education; and they bring non-releasable owls and hawks to schools, civic groups, county and state parks to share these magnificent creatures with the public.
This little barn owl, they’ve named Smokey, is just one of the victims the center expects to see over the coming days. He was found by firefighters on October 27th and is now with the center.
Dawn and Peggy wrote:
"I wanted to share this image of the first Silverado fire victim...we unfortunately anticipate more to arrive over the coming days.
This Barn Owl had his feathers burned and will require rehab until he molts and they grow back. Smoke inhalation effect is still unknown but he should be releasable back into the wild once that occurs.
We would sure like to share that we are here to assist with wildlife and of course we could use the public's support as we are a 100% non-profit. (The public should call trained local animal control should they discover a bird of prey or animal needing help.)"
They’ve created social media accounts for Smokey so you can follow along with his progress…they say he’s still in a rough spot right now but hopeful for his recovery.Follow Smokey the Owl on Instagram and Twitter @SmokeyTheOwl .
If you'd like to help care for these affected animals, you can donate via PayPal HERE
They are a registered charity at the Orange County Community Foundation as well
Orange County Bird Of Prey Center
25422 Trabuco Road 105-541
Lake Forest 92630
Director: Peggy Chase