In November a fire that burned hundreds of acres in Northwestern Oklahoma claimed a barn, therapy office, storage room and kitchen at the White Horse Ranch equine therapy center for young girls near Mooreland.

This week, the girls were able to move back to the ranch after living at another site for 3 1/2 months. 

Two horses were burned in the fire, but all of the girls, faculty and staff escaped without injury.

The home has been open since 2007 and offers therapy services for girls between 12 and 18 struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues.

“We tie the horses up and feed them and have them care for their own horse and then on the eighth day they actually adopt the horse,” Smith said. “The horse really mirrors their personality attributes so when they choose their horse it’s a big deal.”

A Woodward church put the girls in a hotel until the center could find a large house to rent.

Renovations at the center aren’t finished, but Smith said the staff and young patients are grateful to be back at the ranch.

“To me there has been a lot of positives that have come out of the fire,” Smith said. “And a true resolve. It really tests your resolve one what it is that you are supposed to be doing regardless of the obstacles in the way.”

The center plans on hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Mooreland Fire Department as a way of saying thank you.