When wildfires threatened her California home, Lauren Mesaros wasn’t going to let the absence of conventional transport prevent her from getting her horses to safety.

The nurse was ordered to evacuate her property near the Coffey Park neighbourhood of Santa Rosa — which has been devastated in the Tubbs fire — with her three horses at short notice on Monday (16 October).

Although her friend Carol Spear lent her a trailer, it only had room for her two mares, meaning there was no space for her mini Stardust.

So she opted to make use of the next best transport space — the back seat of her 2001 Honda Accord.

Fortunately the little pony was happy to be lured into the car with the help of a carrot.

“He actually walked right into the car like a dog would,” 55-year-old Lauren told SFGate.

“My car will never smell the same again though. It’s a little funky in the backseat, but [Stardust] survived.”

Her three horses were taken to the Wind Horse Ranch in Sebastopol to wait until it is safe to return home.

Cindy Lundin Mesaros

When your sister in law Lauren has to evacuate her pony from Santa Rosa but no transport is available – you do what you have to do. Photo by Lauren’s neighbor Lisette Hall Frye.

A picture of Stardust in the back of the car went viral on social media after it was posted by Lauren’s sister-in-law Cindy Lundin Mesaros and has been shared more than 17,000 times.

“When your sister-in-law Lauren has to evacuate her pony from Santa Rosa but no transport is available – you do what you have to do,” Cindy said in her post.

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It’s thought Lauren’s home escaped any significant fire damage after the winds changed direction on Monday.

The Coffey Park area, situated across the railway tracks from her property, was razed by the blaze however.

The Tubbs fire started in the Napa region on October 8 and has destroyed more than 5,000 structures and caused 22 known fatalities.

It is one of more than a dozen wildfires that broke out in early October and began simultaneously burning in eight Northern California counties, displacing thousands of people and animals from their homes.

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