|Image Source - smoke caused by the wildfire|
Right in the heart of Alaska's sled dog community, tragedy strikes. A horrific wildfire sweeping through claiming several peoples homes, and threatening lives. The fire started around 1:00pm last Sunday and quickly continued to grow. Residents began their own evacuation, and roads were closed. Chaos through Alaska. The mushers have been risking everything to save their dogs. Iditarod musher Jonrowe and Chapoton were away at Martin Buser's Happy Trails Kennel event when they heard the news. Jonrowe learned that this was literally less than 10 miles from her home and her 52 sled dogs all chained up in her yard. Needless to say, they got in their vehicles and raced towards their homes in attempts to save the dogs.
|Image Source - Jonrowe with her dogs|
Unfortunately, Jonrowe would suffer a few losses that day. Aside from priceless family items from her scorched home, she was also unable to save her cat, her chickens, and her senior dog who was 15 years old. During this unbelievable tragedy, it is truly amazing how a community can come together. Martin Buser from Happy Trails Kennel, put out a message on Facebook stating he had tons of room for any dog teams in need. He offered shelter and water, showing how much one person can make a difference. Hundreds of mushers took him up on the offer.
Friday marked the first day that 'some' of the 800 people affected by the Willow area fire, (dubbed the Sockeye wildfire) were able to go home. Although, not everyone had homes to go to. The fire had completely destroyed 26 houses. Residents are so thankful for people like Martin Buser. Without people like that....well things could have potentially been a lot worse.
We would like to send our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the Sockeye Wildfire.