Dozen of horses have been evacuated to Exhibition Park in Canberra, as their owners prepare for what officials have warned could be the ACT's worst fire conditions since 2003.
On Friday afternoon, Peta Joyce - who has slept in a swag at EPIC since Wednesday - estimated her horse, "Strongbo", had joined about 40 others evacuated from Canberra Equestrian Centre alone.
People whose horses were stabled at the centre managed to band together and bring them en masse, Ms Joyce said. The centre's management had kept all owners updated on local bushfire threats.
"We've just been advised that you don't have to go and it's not an evacuation ... but it's our choice," Ms Joyce said.
"We all had to be told, 'You work out your trigger point, and go when you're ready'."
Owners who evacuated their horses were thankful they'd made the choice on Friday.
The ACT's chief minister, Andrew Barr, declared a state of emergency about noon.
Alix Dossetor, who evacuated her horse "Toffee" from the equestrian centre, said she had struggled to deal with day-to-day duties - like taking her kids to school - while camping out at EPIC.
But horse owners had established a sense of community at the showground, which made the situation easier, she said.
"I met these people literally on Wednesday ... and they're like family now," Ms Dossetor said.
"Everyone is so supportive and if you need to go and do stuff, everyone will watch your horse.
"[They're] willing to share all of their supplies - it's really lovely."
Ms Dossetor said she felt a sense of preparedness ahead of expected deteriorating bushfire conditions. She felt the 2003 fires were less pre-empted by territory residents and officials.
"We were just waiting and not knowing, and I remember being so scared," she said.
"You know that's it coming [now] ... but you're at ease in a sense, because you're getting all the information that you can."
Burra locals, Brita and Paul Menzies, said they had managed to get two of their horses to EPIC, but had to leave another two at home because of transport constraints.
In contrast to Ms Dossetor's gratitude for media and government fire coverage, Ms Menzies wanted to switch off her devices for a few days to avoid being in a constant panic.
"I've just been home and we've let the chickens out; we have to let all the sheep out [too]," she said.
"We just have to sit it out, I suppose.
"I'm going to turn all the radios and everything off now because since [the fires] started in November, you're just constantly attached to [fire updates]."
As a condition of EPIC's free horse relocation during the bushfire emergency, owners must stay with their animals at all times.
They are also required to bring their own water and feed buckets, medication, and simple first aid.