Firefighting Sheep

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

They're called little firefighters, and all these sheep care about is the food to eat and water to drink.
Jenny Scanlande, with the Nevada Division of Forestry, says their job is to eat the wild grasses that cover the hillside to provide a fuel break for firefighters during a wild fire.
"The sheep are going to graze about 1000 feet on each side of the road. That will give us access in here, in case of a fire, with our firefighters as well as our engines."
The sheep will graze through Brunswick Canyon at Evans Creek moving south to Thomas Creek until the end of June.
These same hillsides are close to where the Arrowcreek Fire destroyed an entire landscape and threatened hundreds of homes.
The grasses that fueled that fire are even more dense now.
"The Arrowcreek fire was a very fast moving fire because of the grasses that were here, very flammable, carried the fire very fast. This year, we have even taller grass, higher fuels."
Eric Walker, with the US Forest Service, says a fire right now could be disastrous.
"If a fire were to get in here, it would be really difficult for us to defend the homes or be able to put it out. So, we're hoping by putting sheep out here, we can consume a lot of the grass out here."
The joint project between the Nevada Division of Forestry, US Forest Service, Washoe County and the Nevada department of agriculture is actually a cheaper option to maintain the service road for wildfire safety.
Ed Foster, with the Nevada Department of Agriculture says even Ted Borda, a local math teacher at Galena High School and Ranch Manager, paid for the expense to bring his sheep to the hills.
"He's a local guy here. He's a third generation sheep herder. He was willing to bring 800 of his sheep off a grazing allotment in California to do this amazing public service."
A public service easily recognized as a necessary project as we continue to watch the green hills start to change to a dry brown, ripe for a wildfire.


KOLO-TV 4850 Ampere Drive Reno, NV 89502
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 1554222