SAFE ZONE: Mikky Gimm, Alicia Hopkins and Claire Byrne with Blondy and Cadeau, two of the horses rescued.
SAFE ZONE: Mikky Gimm, Alicia Hopkins and Claire Byrne with Blondy and Cadeau, two of the horses rescued.

Horses safe after creek crossing

CLAIRE Byrne was unaware how close the fire was to her home until the police came beeping their horn for her to evacuate her Britannia Street property.

Claire is legally blind and can only see a few metres in front of her.

She was aware of the fires and had already sent her two dogs to safety but only had time to open the gates to allow her six horses to find their way to safety before she was evacuated.

"It was terrifying, the whole thing was," Claire said.

Fortunately Alicia Hopkins and Mikky Gimm were nearby after rescuing their horses and jumped into action to help the others.

"We tried to get in through the driveway," Alicia said. "But it was too hot due to the fire."

So the girls found a way following the creek to the back of the property.

 

Alicia Hopkins snuggles in to Shandy, one of the horses she helped rescue.
Alicia Hopkins snuggles in to Shandy, one of the horses she helped rescue. Contributed

With only two lead ropes and a halter, the duo managed to collect the horses together, firstly getting two mares, one pregnant, across the creek and letting them go before going back for the other four.

The girls had to lead the horses along roads and properties, moving them several times from people's backyards as more properties got evacuated.

People helped them along the way, including leading them with car lights along the road.

They finally ended up at the showgrounds where many displaced animals were taken.

"We didn't think of our safety," Alicia said. "Mikky gets bad asthma but we just wanted to get the horses out."

The home has been left with a ring of burnt grass around it reminding Claire of how close the fire came to her home.

Thankfully none of her animals, including chickens and guinea pigs, were hurt.

Claire said a vet would check on the horses today to make sure they were all healthy, including the pregnant mare.