Dramatic body camera footage posted by the Vacaville Police Department shows officers working quickly with staff, volunteers and Humane Animal Services to evacuate animals from the Solano County SPCA as a large, fast-spreading wildfire approached.
Calling it a “race against the clock,” the police department posted on Facebook that the Solano SPCA appeared to be in the direct path of the Nelson Fire the previous day. The Nelson Fire scorched more than 2,000 acres along Interstate 80 in Vacaville and came alarmingly close to suburban neighborhoods as it spread quickly along grassy hillsides.
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The animals made it safely out, but not all of them could be evacuated in the first effort, as the Solano SPCA explained in a later Facebook post.
“Unfortunately we were under the impression that all animals were out and safe when we evacuated. We found out later that there had been a few cats still in the cat building,” the post said. “The volunteer that was in there went in illegally and crossed the fire line without anyone knowing after we had been out for quite a while. We would never leave a person behind. If we knew he was in there, we would have called to inform first responders to get him out! Once it was deemed safe ... two of our staff members were able to be escorted in by the police department to get the remainder of the animals out.”
The SPCA further reported that all 60 of its animals were safe and with foster families Friday. By Sunday, staff were back at the SPCA cleaning up, and began requesting fostered animals be returned that afternoon, according to another Facebook post updating the situation.
The shelter suffered from some smoke damage and a loss of power, also losing much of its refrigerated medications, according to its latest Facebook post. As of Sunday morning, SPCA of Solano County was asking for donations of animal bedding, towels, blankets and cleaning supplies.