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Sanctuary One evacuating animals due to Miller Complex Fires

Sanctuary One's Yorkshire pigs have proven to be the most difficult animals to evacuate due to their size and the fact they have never left the farm before. (KTVL/Mike Marut)

Applegate Valley, Ore. - Because of the Burnt Peak Fire slowly approaching the Sanctuary One property in the Applegate Valley, the non-profit farm is evacuating all 60 animals for the first time in 10 years.

The Miller Complex of fires have burned almost 13,000 acres, and the east side of the Burnt Peak Fire - one of the largest in the Complex - is nearing Sanctuary One.

"We've had the smoke, but we've never seen flames," Brian Kiesse, operations manager at Sanctuary One, said. "It is a little daunting to look out of the window and actually see flames."

During the day, it's too smoky to actually see flames, but a level one, "Get Ready," evacuation notice was announced for residences along Upper Applegate Road.

"Making sure the animals are going to get the standard of care that we provide here can be daunting, but we train for it all year round," Kiesse said.

Not only the numbers provide problems, but also the species of animals makes evacuating them complicated. The farm has alpacas, dogs, cats, horses and others, but the most challenging animals to move are the Yorkshire Pigs.


"[They] weigh about a ton," Kiesse said. "Just because of their size, they've never left the farm. They've been here the whole time - they're actually ambassador animals for us."

Ambassador animals means the pigs won't be adopted out, but still need to find a temporary home until the threat of the Burnt Peak Fire goes away. The pigs are one of the first animals Sanctuary One took in when they started accepting other animals there.

Evacuations will be taking place starting Wednesday around noon. Kiesse hopes evacuations will be done by the end of the day on Friday.

If you would like to assist Sanctuary One, Kiesse says donations are more helpful to fund transportation for the evacuations. Other non-profits and previous foster families have been helping Sanctuary One with the evacuations. You can donate on their website.

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