Skip to main content

Horses Evacuated During Wildfire Return To San Diego Stables

Flames from the Lilac fire in San Diego's North County destroy a structure wh...

Credit: Michelle Dollase

Above: Flames from the Lilac fire in San Diego's North County destroy a structure where hundreds of horses were kept at the San Luis Rey Downs Training Facility, Dec. 7, 2017.

Hundreds of thoroughbred horses evacuated during a wildfire late last year are heading back to their home at the San Luis Rey Training Center near San Diego, according to a report.

RELATED: 10-Year-Old Oceanside Artist Raises Thousands Of Dollars For Lilac Fire Survivor

Forty-six horses were killed when the Lilac Fire on Dec. 7 raced across rolling hills near Fallbrook, known for barns and avocado groves.

More than 400 surviving thoroughbreds are being brought back to new, temporary stables or refurbished older ones that withstood the blaze, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The horses had been stabled about 35 miles to the south at Del Mar racetrack.

All the horses should be back at the training center by the end of the weekend. Accompanying them are more than 200 trainers, assistant trainers, groomers and stable hands who also had taken up post-fire residence at Del Mar.

"They all love the place and can't wait to get back," San Luis Rey general manager Kevin Habell told the newspaper.

RELATED: Fund Set Up For Horses After Lilac Wildfire

The barns that survived the blaze have new metal roofs and have been pressure-washed to remove the smell of soot, he said. The older barns also have a new coat of paint, and landscaping throughout the facility has been replaced.

The fire destroyed seven barns and damaged an eighth at the 240-acre San Luis Rey site. More than 100 nearby homes were also destroyed.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.