Update: USA Olympians Steffen Peters, Günter Seidel, Christine Traurig Evacuate Amid California Fires

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Fire behind Arroyo Del Mar, the stables of Steffen and Shannon Peters in San Diego, California. Photo: Courtesy Steffen Peters
Fire behind Arroyo Del Mar, the stables of Steffen and Shannon Peters in San Diego, California. Photo: Courtesy Steffen Peters

SAN DIEGO, California, May 14, 2014–Fires fanned by high winds forced the evacuation of United States Olympians Steffen Peters, Günter Seidel, Christine Traurig and many other trainers and horse owners from their stables along with thousands of homeowners in this Southern California community.

No horses or humans were lost and no home destroyed in the blaze, the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper reported Wednesday. San Diego County officials said, however, that fire fighters with air tanker and helicopter support had contained about 25 per cent of the fire overnght, but winds picked up after daybreak.

Among the many who moved their horses to the safety of the Del Mar Fairgrounds on the coast just north of San Diego were Steffen and Shannon Peters, Günter Seidel, Christine Traurig, U.S. youth coach Jeremy Steinberg and many others.

“Everyone is safe at the Del Mar fairgrounds on the coast,” Steffen told dressage-news.com after the evacuation, the second time in the past eight years they had been forced to leave their Arroyo Del Mar farm.

Other dressage trainers with horses based at the 22-acre (9Ha) farm include German Lientje Schüler and David Blake.

Flames fanned by stiff winds burned a huge swath of canyons in the northern part of San Diego county, the Union Tribune reported with temperatures around 100F/38C. Flames roared through brushy canyons and swirled within feet of homes and luxury hilltop estates.

The fire threatened estates, including several horse farms, in Rancho Santa Fe and Fairbanks Ranch, but the newspaper said none were destroyed as of mid-afternoon.

“It wasn’t our first time and a good evacuation plan is in place,” Steffen said. “It worked flawlessly.”