News Release
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Media Contact:
Steve Lyle, Office of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462,
Release #03-075
Fairgrounds, veterinarians utilized for help with evacuations
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Food and Agriculture is assisting with the catastrophic wildfires in Southern California by making personnel and fairground properties available for evacuation needs.

The San Diego County Fair at Del Mar is serving as an evacuation center for both people and horses. A small number of people and hundreds of horses are being sheltered there; The National Orange Show in San Bernardino is housing livestock, poultry, horses and other animals. The property is now preparing to accept evacuees, as necessary; The San Bernardino County Fair in Victorville is sheltering livestock; The Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona is boarding horses and other small animals. People are being housed at a hotel located on the fairgrounds; The Ventura County Fair in Ventura is housing just animals at this time.    

In addition, CDFA veterinarians have hurried to the region to assist with animal evacuations and the treatment of animal injuries. The veterinarians, working with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in Los Alamitos, will coordinate emergency calls for animals in distress through a structure known as CARES, California Animal Response and Emergency System. Non-profit animal welfare organizations and other government agencies are available to respond to those calls.     

“Our personnel have been trained to give our agency the capability to assist in emergency response,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. “We will do all we can to help in this time of disaster. Our hearts go out to the many families that have suffered devastating losses.”

The CARES organization was founded by CDFA following widespread flooding in Northern California in 1997. 

In recent years, CDFA has had a growing role in emergency response planning and readiness, including service on the State Strategic Committee on Terrorism and the creation of the California Agricultural Emergency Response Team, which was formed as part of the $70 million Buy California Initiative.   

Additional resources will be made available for wildfire assistance as circumstances dictate. 


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California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814