During the month of August, Idaho had an unprecedented fire season which came very close to several of our endurance friends. The Soda Fire which was the largest fire in the nation at one point, burned close to 300,000 acres of range land. Much of the burned land was used by endurance and recreational riders, as well as ranchers, and is set against the backdrop of the Owyhee Mountains. Belesemo Arabians is approximately 6 miles away from the fire line as the crow flies, and although we experienced ash coming down as the winds shifted, we were not in any danger as the towns of Marsing, Homedale and the Snake River were between us and the fire. However, several of our friends had ranches in the direct path of the fire and our guys assisted them in beating the flames back from their buildings. Luckily there was no loss of life, but some of our friends suffered devastating cattle losses.
Included in that loss were wild mustangs from the Hard Trigger Canyon and Sand Basin areas. There were 35 mustangs lost or destroyed due to the fire and the rest (approximately 300 head) are due to be rounded up by the BLM due to their loss of habitat.
One of our volunteers here at the ranch, Angeline Sherman, went out to take photos of the BLM rounding up the mustangs on their destroyed homeland. They are to be housed in pens at the BLM receiving station in Boise for up to 3 years while their grazing range recovers. Since we are all horse lovers, we thought you might find these photos interesting. Click here for photos Angie took the day of the roundup.