The Yale Road Fire has burned thousands of acres. While no human lives have been lost but one farmer is mourning the loss of hundreds of livestock.
As the fire burned Sunday, more than 400 sheep were trapped in a deep canyon south of Spokane and, despite efforts by Dale Dietrich and his dogs, most were killed in the flames.
“You get kind of attached even though they are just sheep,” he said. “You know from little lambs, you lamb them out and give them shots, and take care of them."
The ones that survived are recovering from a harrowing journey, narrowly escaping the fire.
“Some of those are going to die. They got burnt pretty bad," Dietrich said.
Sunday afternoon he saw a plume of smoke in the distance, the canyon where his sheep graze in its path.
“I thought I'd go down and get them up out of there which isn't a quick process," he said. “So we headed down the hill with the jeep and a dog."
Unfortunately the flames were already closing in.
“We got down there and i was still going to try to do something and my wife convinced me to turn around," he said.
Dietrich's dogs saved about a hundred of his 400 sheep.
“It's hard to lose that kind of animal because you spend a lot of time taking care of them, so ...” he said, his voice trailing off.
Thursday they're burning the ones they could find and beginning to move on. The sheep he lost will cost him about $40,000 and they weren't insured, but for Dietrich this loss is so much more than dollar signs.
“Of course you always got a few pets in the bunch you know but none of those made it," he said.
All of the guard dogs made it safely out of the canyon but, along with the sheep Dietrich lost he also lost all of the feed for the surviving sheep and about 200 bales of hay. Altogether the Yale Road Fire will cost him more than $60,000.