SYLMAR (CBSLA.com) — People aren’t the only ones returning home as the Sand Fire dies down.
KCAL9’s Amy Johnson was there when large animals — lions, tigers and bears among them — also got to return home as an animal sanctuary said goodbye to some of its brief inhabitants.READ MORE: OC Spanish-Speakers Left Broke, Without Their Cars By Get Rich Quick Scheme Advertised On Facebook Marketplace
A Siberian tiger was unloaded from a trailer and carefully taken back to its enclosure at the Wildlife Waystation.
“It’s traumatic for the animals, and it’s also traumatic for the people,” says Martine Colette of the Wildlife Waystation. “You don’t have time to be traumatized or be upset. You just do what you have to do.”
More than 300 animals were evacuated from the Wildlife Waystation on Friday evening as the Sand Fire crept closer to the sanctuary.
“They almost burned to death here because the fire came on so fast, and I still don’t know how we escaped it,” Colette said. “But thank God that we did.”
The charred hillside showed how dangerously close the fire got to the facility.READ MORE: Report: California Most Targeted State For Ransomware Attacks
“It was pretty scary,” said Susan Hartland, “It came up very fast. We didn’t have a lot of time, there’s large animals to move and there’s a lot of them.”
A network of neighbors, friends and volunteers helped get the animals to safety.
Some had to be sedated for the ride.
“I got a call from another one of her friends,” said volunteer animal mover Eric Weld, “and she said we need your help.”
He not only helped with the evacuation he also helped return the animals from Frazier Park.MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Murder Suspect In North Hollywood
“We were so lucky,” said Hartland, “and so glad they can return home.”