Monday, 22 June 2015

Mushers Come Together During Tragic Wildfire Near Willow Alaska

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.
If you are interested in donating to the victims of the wildfire, click here and here.




20 comments:

  1. Heartbreaking.......thankfully most of the dogs were rescued but it's so sad that so many lost so much. Wildfires are so frightening and destructive.

    pam

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    1. They really are. Such a scary thing to see, witness and go through for these people.

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  2. Amazing we have heard nothing about this in the news here. How awful and tragic. Our hearts break for those poor people and the pets who didn't make it. What a tragedy!

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    1. Strange you haven't heard this in the news yet. It has been quite the horrific experience to follow. Luckily most got away safely with themselves and their pets!!!

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  3. So scary. My producer, Robert, lives there in Willow with his team and so many of his neighbors, including Dee Dee lost so much. We just talked about this on my "The Sibe Vibe" show yesterday and Robert brought us up to date on how things are in their community and we talked about how wonderful the mushing community is pulling together to help each other. Although Robert and his family evacuated their 50 dogs to safety, their home and all are safe and now back home, it is very scary indeed and sad for those who lost so much. We continue to hope and pray for the entire community. There are ways folks can help out if interested, info is in the beginning of my show here: http://dogworksradio.com/2015/06/21/the-sibe-vibe-presents-jackie-roach-of-taysia-blue-rescue/

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    1. Oh wow! So you know someone directly going through this right now then? I couldn't even imagine how scary this whole thing would be to live it first hand. Thanks so much for the info and the link for people to help those in need. I appreciate that.

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  4. I saw the fires on the news and am so sorry for the devastation. It is always when people are at their weakness that we see the strongest love from our fellow man. Bless them.

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    1. It really is. And thank god for people like Buser and the others who have helped tremendously through this whole thing.

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  5. The world needs a whole lot more Martin Busers. What a wonderful and amazing thing to do! We will keep our paws crossed for all those affected in any way by the fires.

    Woos - Ciara and Lightning

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  6. that so sad and scary,keeping everyone in our prayers,xx Rachel

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  7. We're so sorry to hear about this wildfire. Purrs to all of those affected by it.

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    1. Definitely. Sad and devastating for those in Alaska :(

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  9. That is so, so sad, yet it is always heartwarming to see how tragedies like this bring out the best in people.

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    1. I know, it's weird because reading things like this definitely give off mixed emotions. I wish people could act this way to each other on a normal every day basis and not just in the event of an emergency, but still, it is awesome to see a community pull together this way!

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