A homeowner who had just minutes to evacuate before a fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles burned her home received a heartwarming surprise.
Christina Pease thought her three goats might have been killed in the Sand fire, which scorched 64 square miles after it broke out July 22 near Sand Canyon Road along the northbound Antelope Valley Freeway. The fire destroyed 18 homes as it burned quickly through neighborhoods, including Pease's, expanding at a rate of about 10,000 acres per day at one point.
As the fire spread, an animal control officer from the Castaic Animal Care Center was helping with evacuations on Oak Springs Canyon Road when he saw three goats in the yard of a home. The officer corralled the goats and brought them to the care center, one of several locations used to shelter hundreds of evacuated animals during the wildfire.
The goats, who were not injured, stayed at the center and officers searched the neighborhood after the worst of the fire passed to find the owner. A neighbor provided officers with the owners' names, allowing officials to reunite the goats with Pease.
The care center also agreed to care for the goats while the family looks for a new place to live.
"It looks like a bomb went off," Pease told NBC4 radio partner KPCC. "It looks like hell. Armageddon. I don't know. The apocalypse. It's beyond words. I have no words to describe it."
An estimated 20,000 people were evaucuated during the Sand fire.
The blaze was fueled by triple-digit temperatures along with gusty winds and vegetation left dry by the region's five-year drought. Officials said some areas affected had not burned in decades, leaving terrain covered with dry chaparral.
The fire was 100 percent contained Wednesday.