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The dairy’s decision to use about 10 of its sprinklers spanning hundreds of feet to water its fields stopped the flames from sweeping through its property, where they could have overtaken other homes.
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“Whether their houses would have caught on fire, nobody knows,” dairy co-owner Lori Graves said. “But we feel like it helped, putting water down in between a fire and a dry house.”
Graves, her husband, Rob, two sons and three daughters as well as the farm’s employees worked together to irrigate the fields to stave off the blaze.
Tim Gueswel, a neighbor of the dairy farm, said in a Facebook post that the dairy kept his family out of danger.
“Please pray and think of the ones that are the brave fire fighters and the poor souls who have lost so much,” he said.
The dairy kept its water on for 24 hours Saturday and Sunday. Lori Graves isn’t sure how many homes the family might have saved, but she thinks the effort helped stop flames from reaching a nearby subdivision with dozens of homes.
Despite their work to save others’ property, the Graves non-irrigated land was devastated. They fear they lost 6,000 acres of open grazing land and pasture to the fire.
“The fire burned up to the edge of our irrigated fields and then couldn’t go beyond that,” she said.
Authorities have allowed the family to remain in the evacuated area to take care of their cattle.