Farm of animal actors threatened by Rose Fire, strangers step in to save the animals

The Rose Fire tore through much of the area just outside Wickenburg last month. It forced the evacuation of many animal actors who live on a property in Morristown, just south of Wickenburg.

"I have seven dogs, five cats, seven foxes, six badgers, raccoons, goats, and sheep," animal trainer Cris Rankin said.

All of these furry stars were threatened when the Rose Fire scorched the area last month. 

The fire destroyed seven nearby homes, prompted evacuations and closed the main highway between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

When did Rankin realize there was trouble?

"I got the call from my friends who were staying at the house, and they called me and said there was a fire close by," she said.

Rankin added she was out of town on a commercial shoot with some of her animals, so she had to rely on neighbors to help care for the ones left back home.

"It was terrifying, and honestly, the whole community came together," she said. "The people that were here started evacuating animals."

"I was about ready to have them turn these foxes loose because the fire was up on the back of their cage; it was literally burning on the back of their cage."

What happened next was something she never expected.

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"There were literally strangers here I didn't know with trailers moving my animals, roping sheep in the yard, loading up horses, loading up donkeys," she said.

That group of strangers included Cody Donnafield and his family.

"Saw the horse trailers out here," Donnafield said. "(We) knew something was going on over here with the animals, saw her friend asking for help to get everything cleaned up, and just banded together."

He was one of several people who stuck around all week to help with clean-up.

"None of us really knew each other beforehand," he said.

While there's still a lot of work left to do, Rankin says she's grateful none of her animals were hurt and now she has some new friends.