ROUNDUP — As wildfires consume hundreds of square miles in Montana, many residents are having to choose between protecting their animals and saving their own lives.
That’s led some to leave their livestock or pets to fend for themselves, with nothing more than an open gate to give the animals a chance to find safety.
With flames shooting over Montana’s Bull Mountains, Jim and Candy Tracy made the agonizing decision to leave their three horses behind.
They weren’t able to return for two days. Two of the animals, Barney and Sugar Doodle, lived. But the third, 27-year-old Buddy, was killed.
The surviving horses were being treated at A K Veterinary Services in Roundup. Since the 20,000-acre fire ignited Tuesday, injured and dislocated animals have been steadily pouring into the veterinarian’s office.