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40 horses were rescued from a burning ranch in California

Posted: 4:24 PM, Oct 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-12 19:24:17-04
Forty horses were rescued from a burning ranch in California

(CNN) -- Forty horses trapped at an equestrian center in Sylmar, California, during the Saddleridge Fire were rescued after a ranch worker reached out for help on social media.

The fire, which started Thursday and quickly spread to more than 7,500 acres, left schools canceled, highways shut down and over 100,000 people scrambling to evacuate.

At the Saddletree Ranch Equestrian Center on Friday, horses were caught in the massive blaze. Surrounded by flames and smoke, the horses nervously ran back and forth as workers tried to wrangle them to safety and extinguish the fire.

Horacio Diaz, a worker on the ranch, told CNN affiliate KCAL that despite their best efforts, the blaze was uncontrollable.

That's when Alejo Morales, who was also on the scene, posted a message on social media asking for help.

"We had a lot of friends that came through and helped us," Morales told KCAL. "We started getting phone calls and [more] phone calls, and people just started piling up and getting the horses [out]."

Morales said friends and strangers rushed over with trailers and shuttled the horses to safety.

While the horses and ranch workers made it unscathed, the ranch did not.

The equestrian center lost several thousand dollars worth of property when it was looted during rescue efforts, according to KCAL.

Still, the ranchers are grateful for everyone's safety.

"We want to thank the whole community for helping us out." Diaz told KCAL. "They really came through for us."