Owl Rescued From Collapsing Barn Fire In RivCo: Cal Fire

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EASTVALE, CA — Firefighters rescued a barn owl from a burning barn in Eastvale Tuesday morning, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department spokesperson Maggie Cline De La Rosa said.

Shortly before 8 a.m., firefighters responded to a burning barn in the 8500 block of Hellman Avenue. The 5,000-square-foot barn was vacant, save for the owl firefighters discovered inside.

Pictures from the scene show firefighters using a blanket to rescue the barn owl as they awaited Riverside County Animal Services’ arrival. It remained unclear if the owl suffered any injury from the blaze, and photos showed it appeared secured in a net, safe from causing itself further harm.

Animal Services field workers evaluated the owl and took custody of the creature, which was a department named “Archimedes.”

Battalion 14 Firefighters rescue a barn owl now nicknamed Archimedes. (Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department Photo)

“The owl is a hatchling,” according to Animal Services spokesperson Arianne Murphy.
The mother was not found, and the young barn owl was evaluated and deemed not injured, so field workers transferred the raptor to a partner wildlife rehabilitation center. “They will care for the young owl until it is old enough to be released back into the wild,” Murphy said.

This is not the first barn owl to be rescued by firefighters in Southern California.

In October 2020, the Orange County Fire Authority rescued a badly burned owl during the Silverado Fire. Nicknamed Smokey, that owl has been in recovery for four years after its wings were severely burned.

After spending a year at the Serrano Animal and Bird Hospital, Smokey was transferred to the Orange County Bird of Prey Center for further rehabilitation until his new flight feathers and wings could accommodate flight.

According to OC Bird of Prey Center Executive Director Dr. Peggy Chase, “This is why we do what we do. Smokey the owl would have undoubtedly died and suffered greatly had they not rescued him that day.”

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