Sheep will start grazing Thursday in west Carson to create fire break | NevadaAppeal.com

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Sheep will start grazing Thursday in west Carson to create fire break

Sheep are coming Thursday to Carson City's west side near the urban area to eat vegetation that could become fire fuel, according to Ann Bollinger, city natural resource specialist.

"We have scheduled the sheep to arrive next Thursday," she said, "to assist us with fuels reduction." She estimated the sheep would arrive between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.

Sheep graze to the west of the urban areas to protect homes and other structures should a fire develop at higher elevations and have wind whip it east. It's part of a program initiated during the spring in the aftermath of the 2004 Waterfall fire.

It is part of a hazardous-fuels-reduction program to create a fuel break should fire occur, a program quite important as drought years continue. The sheep are grazed and monitored by herders with sheep dogs.

A primary target for the fuels-reduction plan has been cheat grass, but also any vegetation that could help fire spread, so the sheep were employed in past years at critical periods of plant growth on slopes west of Curry Street, on C Hill, and in the interface area along the wildlands of Carson City extending north to Lakeview.