Thanks to skilled passersby, many cattle were saved when a fire ripped through a dairy farm on Headquarters Road late Tuesday afternoon – across the road from a similar barn fire just one month ago.
The black smoke at Casawood Farms caught the attention of members of the Comox Valley Roping Club who were on their way to the Norwood Equestrian Center for practice.
“(We had) trailers on horses on our way to do a local roping and practice. We do it every Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays out at the farm, and we came by to this,” Orvall Harris of the club told CTV Vancouver Island. “These people are people we know and neighbours and everyone is willing to lend a hand and help the cows out … and if it wasn’t for all these horse-mounted people here we wouldn’t have gotten the cows in.”
Thanks to their efforts, club members were able to round up many of the scared cattle and help them into a nearby field.
“The cows were a little bit scattered at first but we were able to calm them down in the field and then a neighbour has cattle over here so we were able to settle them down. It appears initially these cattle are all fine, so they don’t look like they’re injured or startled too bad.”
He added while the fire had the cattle spooked, it was lucky there were many experienced riders and ropers nearby to help round up the livestock.
Bob Hunter, who helped lend a hand with the cows, said the riders did very well in rescuing the animals.
“They did pretty good … you see these cattle are not used to horses.”
He noted many of the cows from the dairy farm are heifers.
Robert Casanave of Casawood Farms credited the help from the community in saving many of the animals.
“That’s always kind of nice to see that people are still willing to help every now and then. Normally when you see black smoke you go running out in these parts.”
He added he does not know how the fire started.
A fire on June 14 at the Evansdale Dairy Farm ravaged a 200-foot barn and collapsed the building within minutes with livestock inside.