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Team Elite Readies For Upcoming Fire Season

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Sonora, CA — A local non-profit group is preparing to help rescue livestock whenever future wildfires arrive in Tuolumne County.

Team Elite was formed in 2017 after witnessing the Butte Fire in neighboring Calaveras County.

The organization’s president and co-founder, JoLynn Miller, says, “We knew that we needed some sort of livestock evacuation team in Tuolumne County. And so, now we have a fully certified evacuation team that works really closely with Tuolumne County Animal Control. We are able to go behind fire lines in an emergency to help residents evacuate their livestock.”

Miller adds that Team Elite helped respond to last year’s August 26 Washington Fire that burned over 100 acres along the outskirts of Sonora. Noting, “We were able to evacuate a badly burned horse and get it to the veterinarian’s office for treatment. We also had about six teams on standby in case that fire got worse.”

Miller says each individual team (under the Team Elite umbrella) is compromised of two people, and there are currently eight teams. Her goal is eventually to grow to 15.

This coming Saturday at 8am there will be a Rig Inspection and Driving Test followed by new member orientation at the Humane Society located at 10040 Victoria Way in Jamestown. Anyone interested in taking part, or learning more information about the organization, can call 209-782-0616 or email