Is it better to graze it or blaze it?
Fire season in the West was especially devastating this year. A string of massive wildfires encompassed thousands of acres, displacing cattle and threatening the livelihood of many ranchers.
One of the worst blazes was the Canyon Creek Complex wildfire that burned 110,261 acres of forest and pasture across central Oregon. The fire affected several area ranchers, including Ken Holliday, who was less than two weeks into grazing his allotments before he had no choice but to drive through flames to open gates and save his cowherd. He owns Holliday Family Ranches, Inc., running 775 cows on pastures and forestland.
The Canyon Creek Complex wildfire started Aug. 12, when lighting struck near one of Holliday’s grazing allotments leased from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) near the Malheur National Forest. The next day Holliday drove his side-by-side into the fire, opening gates to allow his cows to escape. At one point the back tire on the side-by-side caught on fire and had to be put out with an extinguisher.