Edgewood ostrich farm has food for birds and no longer on an evacuation order

Ostriches safe and sound

Operation Ostrich Rescue is being hailed a success.

Last week, an emotional plea went out to save an Edgewood family's ostrich farm that was in the path of an out-of-control wildfire.

Universal Ostrich Farm was included in an evacuation order due to the Michaud Creek fire.

However, Karen and Erik Espersen refused to leave and instead hunkered down with their 500 ostriches plus a bevy of other animals people dropped off while fleeing the flames.

A call went out for feed to sustain the animals, and the next day 2,000 pounds of ostrich feed, hoses and other needed items were dropped off.

Gena Barzan helped organize the food delivery and said on the Animal Auxiliary Thrift Store Facebook page the mission was a complete success.

“They have all the feed they need now,” she wrote.

Barzan said a second load was delivered to the farm and a GoFundMe campaign set up to assist the Espersens raised $8,000 more than its goal of $10,000.

The fire is currently burning at 6,000 hectares, and the Regional District of Central Kootenay has downgraded an evacuation order to an evacuation alert.

As of Tuesday, the fire remained south of Johnson Creek and was holding at control lines.

Smoke was impeding air support due to visibility and safety concerns for the pilots and firefighters.

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