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West Kelowna ranch heart ‘broken’ after losing property, beloved pig to fire

McDougall Creek firefighters gave Pumba their granola bars and love until her family could return
(The Broken Rail Ranch/Instagram)

A safe haven for critters of all kinds has been reduced to ashes as a result of the McDougall Creek wildfire.

On the evening of Aug. 17, the fast-growing blaze quickly engulfed the Broken Rail Ranch in West Kelowna.

As the fire was approaching, the Findlay family, who have called the sanctuary home since 2015, worked as fast as they could alongside their community to evacuate their animals.

The ranch rescues animals of all shapes and sizes, most notably having saved 12 horses from slaughter over the years.

All of the horses and most of the other animals were brought to safety, but the pigs had to be left behind.

Miraculously, one pig survived the deadly fire, while Wilbour was unable to escape the flames.

The Findlay family said that Wilbour died quickly. They believe that she is up in piggy heaven “with all the treats and scraps she could ever wish for.”

“Some might say it was only a pig but for us, every single animal of ours is part of the team, part of the family and we love them very much,” said the Findlays.

While devastated, the family is clinging to the elation felt when they found out that Wilbour’s sister Pumba had survived.

After days of anxious unknowns following the fire, the family was still evacuated when they saw footage showing their property. In the video, Pumba could be seen standing prominently on the ashes of the destroyed buildings.

After finding Pumba, firefighters looked after the porky lady by feeding her granola bars from their pockets and giving her water until the evacuation order was rescinded and the Findlay could return home.

“Thank you so much to the firefighters that came out to our ranch today for looking after her…you guys are true heroes.”

The Findlay family said that Pumba offers them a small glimpse of hope despite the devastation and loss caused by the wildfire.

A GoFundMe for the ranch has been organized to help them rebuild a safe space for their animals.


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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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