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Wildlife Safari Prepared For Fires And More

Les Zaitz/AP

  Ever wondered what would happen if a fire threatened a zoo? This became a potential reality for Wildlife Safari when a grass fire in Green, Ore. last month started a mile from their property line. 


As part of Wildlife Safari’s accreditation, they are required to have emergency plans. The staff also run drills almost every month. 

According to General Curator Dan Brands, the fire in Green prompted an addition to the firefighting equipment they keep on hand. 

“We started carrying wet burlap sacks in buckets of water in our vehicles and stationed throughout the park,” said Brands. “So, if we had to start snuffing out a grass fire somewhere, we’ve got quick access to that equipment.”

Since the animals graze to the fence line, fuel for a fire within the 600-acre park is significantly reduced. The winding mile-long road leading into the property also creates natural fire breaks.

Brands said the staff regularly evaluates how to respond better and are building relationships with local emergency services and organizations in order to be a resource for the community.


Aubrey Bulkeley co-created FLUX podcast, a three-part series to accompany award-winning UO School of Journalism and Communication publication, FLUX Magazine. Bulkeley finished her Master's degree in Journalism at the University of Oregon in 2019.
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