Firefighters rescue barn owl whose wings were singed by Silverado fire

VIDEO | 00:40
Firefighters rescue barn owl whose wings were singed by Silverado fire

The bird is recuperating at an animal hospital, where it must remain until it grows new feathers.


A barn owl is “safe and sound” after losing most of his feathers to the Silverado fire’s flames.

Firefighters with the Orange County Fire Authority first spotted the bird while battling the Irvine blaze, which has burned 13,390 acres since igniting Monday morning. As of Thursday morning, the fire was 40% contained.

The authority shared a video of the owl’s rescue Wednesday. The animal appeared unable to move while firefighters wrapped it in yellow fire gear.


“We’ll get you some help, buddy,” one of the firefighters can be heard saying.

The firefighters alerted animal control officers, who later transferred the owl to Serrano Animal and Bird Hospital in Lake Forest.

“This is our first victim of the Silverado Canyon Fires,” the hospital said in a post on Facebook. “After an exam by our doctors, it was determined that most of his injuries are burned feathers. We are not sure how bad his smoke inhalation damage is.”

The owl will remain at the hospital until it molts and grows new feathers, which could take months, the facility said. After that, the bird will be released.

The Silverado fire is one of two wildfires burning in Orange County. Two firefighters were badly burned over half their bodies during the firefight and remain in critical condition, authorities said.

The other Orange County blaze — the Blue Ridge fire — also ignited Monday and burned a path toward Yorba Linda. It has charred 14,334 acres and was 30% contained as of Thursday, authority spokesman Daniel Solis said.

All evacuation orders related to the Silverado and Blue Ridge fires were lifted Thursday afternoon.