Wildlife and Wildfires

Photo credit: Nate Wendell

Many concerned community members have been calling us wondering how to help the local wildlife that might be fleeing from wildfires currently burning over 320,000 acres in Colorado.

Rightfully so, the large plumes of smoke have been blocking out the sun and raining ash into our neighborhoods, a scary sight indeed. While wildfires undoubtedly have been much larger and more intense than the recent past, wildlife are used to these natural events. Still, there are things we can do to make the journey a little easier on the displaced critters traveling through our neighborhoods.

  1. Bring your pets in at night and do not feed your pets outside. Wildlife may be crossing through your neighborhood, and it is best to avoid conflicts by removing any attractants that may cause wildlife to stick around your yard. 
  2. Leave a box and old towel in your car in case you come across an injured animal. While burn victims from these fires are rare, it is better to be prepared if you do come across a wild animal in need. Be sure to call our center BEFORE containing the animal for further instructions. (303-823-8455)
  3.  If you live near the outskirts of a fire and natural water resources have dried up, you can keep bowls or shallow dishes of water in your yard. Be sure to put the containers as  far away from your house as possible. Place stones at the bottom so that wildlife can easily tell how much liquid is present and change water frequently. DO NOT put out any sort of food for the animal as this can cause problems in the future. 
  4. Help encourage healthy habitat after the fires by volunteering! The worst part of wildfire, for the animals, is the loss of habitat. Many volunteer organizations are still hosting COVID-19 friendly opportunities. Check out Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, and Larimer County Volunteers to learn how you can help. 

If you would like to financially contribute to wildfire relief, donate to the 2020 Boulder County Fire Relief Fund. You can also donate to the Longmont Humane Society or Humane Society of Boulder Valley who are taking in pets displaced by the fires.

Photo credit: Mysti Tatro

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