Clay Fire Incident Knocked Out Power
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 25, 2017 – A fire near Riverside County Animal Services’ shelter location in Jurupa Valley knocked out power on Tuesday. The Clay Fire incident burned several power poles, causing a handful of businesses – including the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley – to lose power.
The shelter closed for business as the fire raged and emergency responders shut down Van Buren Boulevard in both directions near the fire zone. The northbound lanes of Van Buren Boulevard were closed Wednesday morning, between Clay Street and Arlington Avenue, but reopened by about 12:30 p.m.
Southern California Edison provided a temporary generator to assist Riverside County Animal Services. The generator is providing partial power for the 76,000-square-foot facility, but the phone center is closed and that may frustrate some callers seeking services. Officers are still responding to priority calls and ramping up for regular duties soon. The shelter remains closed and whether the shelter can open on Thursday is uncertain. An updated press release will alert customers to the reopening.
The fire was small – only about four acres – but there was plenty of fuel. The fire started at about 7 a.m. at a green waste recycling yard that includes stacks of cut wood. The winds were blowing at about 25 mph – with gusts up to 50 mph – and that concerned firefighters because of the dry brush within the nearby Santa Ana River area.
Although the shelter was closed to the public all day Tuesday, the county reached out to many of its adoption partners and regular rescue group organizations. Since temperatures were near 100 degrees most of Tuesday, and the power knocked out, employees appealed to the rescue groups to help alleviate the homeless pet population at the shelter.
“The rescue groups not only helped, they went beyond our expectations,” Director Robert Miller said. “This was a great testament that these groups are true partners in saving lives. The pets were safe, but we believed that it was in their best interest to get them out. The winds shifted, and even though we moved all the dogs inside, the air near the shelter were getting extremely smoky.”
Miller said more than 150 animals were transferred to rescue partners, including three horses, a guinea pig and some chickens. Those assisting included: the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside, the ASPCA, Priceless Pets in Chino, Fido Freedom, Second Chances, Foster Army Animal Rescue, Meoowz ResQ, and Room 8.
Despite the disruption and the uncertainty of power at the shelter, a special event scheduled for Saturday, the Howl-o- Ween Spooktacular, will still happen. Info: https://www.rcdas.org/index.php/component/k2/item/305-howl-o-ween- spooktacular