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Exotic animals among the survivors of Malibu fire
Malibu Wine Safari is one of the attractions in the area that has been badly hit by the blaze that has destroyed over 400 structures and displaced some 200,000 people in the mountains and foothills west of Los Angeles. The fire has scorched 96,000 acres (39,000 hectares) of chaparral-covered rolling hills and canyons spanning Ventura and Los Angeles counties, an area roughly the size of Denver. "Because we were focused on our evacuation plan which pays particular attention to life over property, we evacuated animals and people and in the process we lost most of our structures," said Dakota Demler, 26, whose family owns Malibu Wine Safari. "We had a trailer on standby for livestock and Stanley the giraffe and we waited to see how close the fireline would approach and around 7:30, 8, we could see the fire actually coming over the hill and that's when we decided, because the nature of transferring a large exotic 18 foot giraffe in a 12 foot trailer is incredibly dangerous, to shelter in place with him as well as a few of our other animals." California has endured two of its worst wildfire seasons in history the past two years, which experts attribute in large part to prolonged drought across the western United States.