Idaho cowboys work tirelessly to keep cattle out of fire's path

Credit: Evan Miller

Idaho cowboys work tirelessly to keep cattle out of fire's path

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by Andrea Lutz

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KTVB.COM

Posted on August 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

BOISE -- It's not just our firefighters who are putting their lives on the line for the cause, there is another group that many are saying deserve some recognition for their hard work.

Carolyn Hunt is a third generation Idaho rancher, and her family operates a cattle ranch from Dixie to Mayfield. The Pony Fire is burning dangerously close and started near her property with a lightning strike last week.

Since then, the cowboys working Hunt's ranch as well as other ranches close by haven’t had much rest, as they are making sure the cattle remain out of harm’s way.

"What we are experiencing is just as real and even more devastating,” explains Hunt. “Most of these ranchers are smaller ranchers and family oriented, and they are looking at a loss of their livelihood for the next three years."

She said for every cow that the ranch loses, that is money also lost.

The cowboys are working endless hours, day and night and right on the fire line. Hunt said they are herding the cattle away from the direction of the fire, and they are also trying to stay ahead of it.

“Everyone is just trying to work together to help their neighbor and save what they can and be a comfort to each because that about all we got,” she said. “That’s all the help we are getting right now."

The cowboys aren’t only trying to save property, they are also mending to cows burned by flames and chasing down calves that head back toward the fire

Hunt said these men and woman also deserve recognition for their efforts to save property and livestock.

"They don't get paid a lot of wages and yet they are just as dedicated. They're putting themselves right there on the fire line and they are trying to save livestock, they are riding horses that are tired, they're tired they're sleeping out there with the cattle at night to see that they don't come back around,” said Hunt.

It’s a reality that is cattle ranching in Idaho, according to Hunt.

In addition to herding their cattle, the ranchers will be going back over the burned area to see just how many cows they have indeed lost.

   


 

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