Animals and bush fires
Animals are afraid of fire? Nothing going. Pure fable. When I tried to burn some trash once by my hut in the woods, the fire got out of the control and burned 2 out of my 6 acres; only by the ultimate effort did I prevent it into spreading across the neighborhood. I started on some pretty nasty brambles, that grew in the shade and didn't even probuce berries; but as burning bushes often do as they please, the dried grass took to burning too and the fire spread in three directions. I was precautious enough to do that in the very early spring, just as the snow vanished and several sunny days dried the land (peasant say, burn the grass after three days of sun) - later in the year, when vegetation gets going, such enterprizes become dangerous, but I was too clever by half and did not bring anyone with me to help in case of problems even as the law requires. I was pretty self-confident as there was lot of water in the stream, but lo and behold, water did not help any in controlling the fire. The best way turns out to be a good beating with a common garden shovel or a spade. A bucket of water will produce some sizzling noises and dissapear into the groud while the fire continues to rage in the dry foliage above. When it reaches a biggy bush, it burns more wildly and spreads fast from that point, so it must be caught and extinguished in the grass. That day the problem was that the darn event spread into three lines of fire, one tried to reach the neighbour's beech wood, another a small spruce grove, and the third went for the house. The last one was my greatest concern, then the beech wood arm (what would I say to this woman say? and paying for damages?), and the spruce grove seemed as it should go sacrified. That day I run like crazy, like never before or since (I am a rambling person, not a mindless jogger) between the three of those. While I managed the one, I had immediately to go to the second, but by that time the third got strong and needed attention and it went like that all morning. In the end, I managed to stop the house arm some twenty m from the barn, the beech wood took care of itself (the damp leaves on the ground did not want to burn at all) and after that I saved the spruces after only three or four got fizzled - that's less of a damage than the chrystmas tree poachers did untill the trees grew too tall. (Funny, there were not any tree poaching since I started to keep pit bulls too, although the christmas time is here too cold for such shorthairs to be left outside overnight.)
And pray, what did the animals do while I was fighting for my poperty? The cats slept. The chickens seemed scared by my waving of spades but their main concern was goshawks anyway and they never ventured further than 10 m off the barn. The dogs (at the time I had a border collie and five scenthounds) followed where I went with initial obvious intention to help. They had no problem in jumping over the fire where it was burning low in the grass. One hound even went asleep and had to be shaken awake not to catch fire on the fur himself. And when they realized thay can't help any they held tag contests and kept leaping hither and thither and the fire line did not present any obstacle, any obstacle at all.