Pixel Tracker

Monday, March 18 , 2019, 10:13 am | Fair 64º

Noozhawk Asks: Information + Inspiration for Santa Barbara County

Noozhawk Asks: Why Isn’t Earl Warren Showgrounds Sheltering Animals for Whittier Fire?

It is — Staff are working around the Santa Barbara National Horse Show and the showgrounds has room for evacuated horses

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

This week’s question: Why isn’t Earl Warren Showgrounds open to shelter horses and large animals during these current fires?
— Jessie Mercer, Santa Barbara

Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real in Santa Barbara, was hosting the National Multibreed Horse Show when the Whittier Fire broke out Saturday afternoon.

The fire, which started near Camp Whittier across Highway 154 from Lake Cachuma, had grown to nearly 8,000 acres Sunday. It forced the evacuation of a wide area of camps and ranches.

Santa Barbara County officials initially said Earl Warren was accepting limited numbers of evacuated large animals, but said Monday the showgrounds was taking horses. 

Earl Warren Showgrounds CEO Scott Grieve said they had an equine evacuation team at the showgrounds soon after the fire started Saturday and they have taken four horses as of Monday afternoon. They have been accepting evacuated horses for the fire, he said. 

It's not many compared to past fires — they sheltered about 140 horses during the Jesusita Fire, he recalled. 

The showgrounds does have a horse show going on, but it only takes up 350 stalls out of 600, Grieve said. 

"We have room here and we don't want people to think we're shirking our duty," he said. 

People are advised to call the county hotline at 805.681.4332 for information about evacuating large animals, or people can call Earl Warren directly at 805.687.0766, Grieve said. 

Sheltering evacuated animals at the showgrounds is free, he noted. 


At least two horses evacuated during the Whittier Fire were taken to the showgrounds Saturday, said Susan Klein-Rothschild, deputy director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

“They did allow us to use a couple stalls,” she said.

Click here for the latest information on Whittier Fire evacuation areas and shelters.

Small animals evacuated during the fire were being accepted at the Santa Barbara Humane Society, 5399 Overpass Road in Santa Barbara.

Several evacuated animals were sheltered Saturday, including a horse, cats, dogs, birds and a guinea pig, according to the county.

Early Sunday, a Santa Barbara County animal control officer made a special animal evacuation for homeowners who were out of town, safely rescuing two schnauzers that were later reunited with their owners, Klein-Rothschild said.

Click here for the latest information on evacuation areas and shelters for the Alamo Fire, which started Thursday and has burned nearly 24,000 acres east of Santa Maria.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Noozhawk Asks Sponsors

Noozhawk wishes to thank our Hawks Club members for their generosity and willingness to make Noozhawk Asks a reality.

It’s not too late to get your name on this list. If you would like to make a contribution, please contact publisher Bill Macfadyen at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.456.7195. Contributions to Noozhawk are not tax-deductible.

Thank you.

Suzie & Fred Allen

Katy Bazylewicz

Casey Bemis

Jean Blois

Ri-Pen Chou

Jeff DeVine

Brian Fahnestock

Judy Frost

Michael Gartzke

Marilyn Gilbert

Wesley Ginther

Stephanie Gombrelli

Patricia Griffin

Hib Halverson

Ed Heron

Bonnie and Richard Jensen

Danny Langhorne

Sofie Langhorne

Colin Macfadyen

Kirsten Macfadyen

Alixe Mattingly

Sheila & Frank McGinity

Kathleen Meehan

Kristen Miller

Bree Morris

Paula Patrick

Ed Seaman

Elizabeth Tilton

Kyra Turner

Scott Van Horn

Noozhawk’s note: Several dozen readers requested anonymity with their contributions.