SYLMAR, CA - DECEMBER 06: (EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death.) A dead horse is seen in a stall at Rancho Padilla where 29 horses and numerous other animals were killed in the Creek Fire on December 6, 2017 near Sylmar, California. Strong Santa Ana winds are pushing multiple wildfires across the region, expanding across tens of thousands of acres and destroying hundreds of homes and structures. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Nearly 30 horses died at a ranch as wildfires rapidly engulfed thousands of acres of the southern California landscape.
“All I could think about was the horses, the horses, the horses. And (the firefighters) were like, ‘Get out, get out, get out,’” Patricia Padilla told the Los Angeles Times. “The structures can get rebuilt, but the lives of the horses can’t. That’s my biggest heartbreak.”
The ranch, built more than 20 years ago, housed 60 horses. The family was calling horse owners with the unfortunate news Wednesday.
"It hurts a lot because these horses are family," Shelby Hope, who has been going to rodeos at the ranch for five years, said. "They're not just horses — they're horses that we know, that we've become close to."