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Tiger sanctuary threatened by deadly Fairview Fire; big cats too spooked to move


The Fairview fire, which had scorched nearly 20,000 acres in the Hemet area as of Wednesday night, has moved closer to a tiger sanctuary.

The deadly fire broke out Monday afternoon near Fairview Avenue and Bautista Canyon Road but exploded in size Wednesday and has people at Diamond Valley Lodge concerned for the tigers living there.

“By the time tomorrow comes, we’ve been told, it’s going to come back this way,” said Samantha Potter, who thought the sanctuary had already escaped danger when the flames were visible a couple of nights ago.

“We’re just trying to protect the property and do what we can to make fire breaks. We’ve had a couple of ex-firefighters here,” Potter said.

A message posted on Twitter said the sanctuary’s four tigers are too spooked to transport so they are calling on people to come and help make barriers around the sanctuary.

The message said the lodge is looking for people to rake, use hoses and sprinklers, and that people bring fire extinguishers if possible.

“We’re exhausted but we’re going to work through the night because we have some very precious cargo here,” Potter said.

The Diamond Valley Lodge is located at 31220 Sage Road.


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