SLIDELL, La. (WGNO)— A horse ranch on the North Shore became dangerously close to catching fire over the weekend, officials said on Wednesday.
According to the Humane Society of Louisiana, a fire started on Saturday, Oct. 6, several hundred yards behind the Wind Dancer Rescue Ranch on West Drive in Slidell. The ranch is home to 14 rescue horses and 26 donkeys.
The HSLA says that a neighbor’s security camera caught footage of three suspects, described only as ‘young boys,’ entering the woods in the vicinity where the fire started. The three then immediately exited the woods. We’re told that authorities detained the three suspects and later released them to their parents.
Volunteers were able to quickly move the horses and donkeys to pens away from the blaze as it moved closer to the property.
WDRR sustained minimal damage after the fire spread across a gravel road, charring some of the fencing on the outside of the ranch. HSLA Director Jeff Dorson says the damage is expected to cost several thousands of dollars to repair.
Following the news of the fire, the HSLA presented the WDRR with a $1,350 check to help the ranch fund the repairs. Additionally, organizers have started a fund that the public can donate to by clicking here.
Ranch founder and director Aubrey Stewart expressed her gratitude to those who helped put out the fire. “The fire, if not contained, could have easily followed the wood railings to our main house and the horse barn, which are highly flammable. We are extremely grateful that we did not lose a single structure or animal. We are also very concerned that one or more young men might have deliberately caused a fire that potentially could have led to the loss of property and human and animal life. “