GOLD BEACH - Two dogs, five cats, nine horses, 18 pigs, 22 goats and 72 chickens, roosters, ducks, turkeys and geese must have created quite the cacophony at the height of evacuations from the Chetco Bar Fire in Brookings. 

They all found themselves whisked away from their pastures, pens and barns and taken to the Curry County Fairgrounds when a level 2 evacuation was announced. The animals are the first to go because when level 3 is enacted, residents must leave immediately and won't have time to gather up the herd, flock or gaggle. 

While many of those residents were soon also seeking shelter away from home, they didn't have to worry about the animals. 

Several people saw to that, including Kathy Mazur, Curry County Sheriff's Office dispatcher, Ruth Dixon, 4-H program director for Curry County, Ron Crook, Curry County Fairground manager, Rep. David Brock-Smith, R-Port Orford, and Curry County Commissioner Court Boice. 

But the real hero has been young Brittany Scott. 

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Sheltering animals displaced by Chetco Bar Fire

Volunteer Brittany Scott sits on the cot where she sleeps overnight at the shelter for displaced animals at the Curry County Fairgrounds in Gold Beach on Thursday. The Chetco Bar Fire has forced many locals to evacuate their homes, causing them find alternative arrangements for their animals.

With a cot on a small stage in the corner of the large barn, surrounded by pens filled with livestock, Scott has been staying at the barn almost nightly since Aug. 20. 

"Everyone says, "You must be stressed about it,'" Scott said with an easy laugh. "But it kinda just feels like 4-H at the fair. I haven't been stressed about it at all. We're just all working together to help the animals."

Scott, 18, and a 2017 graduate of Gold Beach High School, said she has been involved in 4-H for eight years. She heard there was a need at the evacuation barn from friends and arranged with the woman she was babysitting for to come help. Trish Jordan, also a resident, spent the first week at the temporary shelter too, then had to return to work. Scott has also had help from Ruth Dixon, 4-H program director for Curry County, who came out during her vacation after she received the phone call.

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Sheltering animals displaced by Chetco Bar Fire

Brittany Scott feeds Miss Liberty, a 1,000-pound pig, at the animal shelter at the Curry County Fairgrounds for animals displaced by the Chetco Bar Fire.

Several animal owners, as they are able, have been coming out each day to care for their broods. 

A family from the Winchuk River that had to evacuate is also staying inside the barn with their camper and livestock trailer. They had to gather up their belongings - and their 16 pigs - at 2 a.m. and take them to the shelter.

That's one reason Scott decided to stay each night. Evacuations were happening at all hours and someone needed to be there to receive the frightened animals. So she's been sleeping near a door slightly ajar to hear any approaching vehicles.

There was one family whose trailer burned on the Chetco Bar. They arrived at the Red Cross shelter at the Curry County Fairgrounds with two children, ages 7 and 10, a dog and a kitten, which they weren't allowed to bring into the shelter. 

"I had the dog and kitten here," Scott said. "The dog slept with me each night."

Jerry's Rogue Jet Boats held a special for evacuated families so they could go up the Rogue River in jet boats to give them something fun to do.

Scott paid for the family to go and arranged for them to have a free lunch as well. 

"I think it really helped their stress level," she said.

The family was able to find a trailer and is living at Harris State Beach State Park temporarily. 

Scott has used the opportunity to bring the kids she usually babysits down to teach them about animals. She's especially fond of a 1,000 pound pig named Miss Liberty, though it took a lot of effort to get the sizable and stubborn pig into a trailer. Now, Miss Liberty seems comfortable - and quite attached to Scott. 

Wendy Johnson with the Curry County Fairgrounds office, said she was amazed at how the communities along the South Coast came together to help those displaced by the fire. People not only donated food and supplies for the residents, but also for the animals. A trailer to help move the animals was also loaned for the effort.

There was so much donated, the feed will be given to local shelters once the animals are re-homed. 

Dixon said there is a Facebook page where people connected to help the animals and some from as far away as Portland donated. 

"We've actually had a ton of donations," Dixon said. "My ultimate goal is to have a trailer for Curry County in case we're ever in a situation like this again."

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Sheltering animals displaced by Chetco Bar Fire

Donated food and supplies sit at the emergency animal shelter at the Curry County Fairgrounds for animals displaced by the Chetco Bar Fire.

Scott does have better things to do. She's starting college at the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute in a couple of weeks, to study pastry and baking arts and hopes to open a bakery in Gold Beach someday. Until then, she will stay with the animals, though she knows there are other volunteers. 

"We have people on call most of the time who will help move livestock," Scott said. "We have a lot of volunteers helping with morning and afternoon feeding and the family is here and Ruth helps too. Hopefully we'll be able to get them home or to pastures soon."

Dixon is amazed at the dedication Scott has shown. 

"I do give credit to 4-H, but also she's just a great kid," Dixon said.

Though the animal count is down now and the barn is slowly being emptied, Scott plans to come home on weekends and help as long as she's needed.

"I love helping people," Scott said. "And they won't leave if their animals aren't safe. People will take care of themselves better if they know their animals are taken care of."

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