ROCKLIN, Calif. (KTXL) – The city of Rocklin is wasting no time hiring sheep to chew down the greenbelts before the areas become a serious fire hazard.
“It’s a good effort to keep us safe,” said resident Amandeep Kaur.
Homeowners are grateful for the hungry fire-prevention flocks, well-aware of the danger that exists if the grasses get too tall and dry.
“So thankful. I live with my house back to the greenbelt and every time I see the sheep, I think it’s such a great way to help the environment and also prevent the fire danger,” said resident Stephanie Garber.
Not even a month into spring, many of Northern California’s wild grasses are already looking summer-like.
“As compared to last year, we are quite a bit drier than we were at this same time,” Cal Fire Capt. Robert Foxworthy told FOX40.
He said the state has seen about 300 more fires in 2021 compared to this time in 2020.
“Along with roughly 1,700 more acres burned than we did the same time last year, so obviously those do up the concern,” Foxworthy explained.
A dry north wind in the forecast this week is further fueling that concern.
“The winds dry the atmosphere out and make fuels drier and more receptive to fire spread,” he said.
Cal Fire is urging the public, as they enjoy the outdoors, to be mindful about how activities could start fires.
“Equipment use, debris burning safety, vehicle use, campfire safety, target shooting safety,” Foxworthy said.
And for property owners, Foxworthy advised that now is the time to cut down combustibles around homes, for those who don’t have livestock to do it naturally.
Cal Fire urges people to use power equipment only in the morning when fire danger is lower.
“Make their home more survivable and safer for us to work and more fire safe should there be a fire in their area,” Foxworthy said.
Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Capt. Chris Vestal told FOX40 that wildfire training exercises for his agency have been moved up to an earlier date than originally planned in response to the early dry conditions.