100+ sled dogs evacuated from Greenwood Fire area | www.WDIO.com

100+ sled dogs evacuated from Greenwood Fire area

Baihly Warfield
Updated: August 17, 2021 09:38 PM
Created: August 17, 2021 05:11 PM

Every summer, Peter McClelland and the crew at White Wilderness Sled Dog Adventures make a fire plan. 

Monday afternoon, they needed it. 

"Oh, maybe about 2:30-3 o'clock Monday afternoon, the sheriff showed up and said, 'Well, the wind's changed. You guys need to go,'" McClelland said. 

The Greenwood Fire is now threatening his home and kennel. But he said the first thing in the fire plan is to put the mushing community on alert. He did that, and right away, 10 mushers showed up to help him load dogs and get them to safety. 

"It was all hands on deck, and everybody did a great job," McClelland said. 

His kennel is made up of about 100 dogs. He is staying with 50 of them at a property near Ely, and the other about 50 are scattered among othe mushers' homes - even business competitors. 

"We're friends, but we also have competing businesses. But the dogs always come first," McClelland said. "That's how it is. It's what's important."

He spent Tuesday making sure the dogs are comfortable in their temporary encampment. 

"We're going to monitor the situation. We're not sure if we're here for two days or two weeks, so right now, we're just trying to make it set up so the dogs are going to be a little more comfortable, making sure they're in trees so they're in shade in this heat," he said. 

A friend was also bringing a camper for him Tuesday, and he was expecting an evening pizza delivery. 

And like a true dog musher, he's taking things in stride. 

"The nice thing about the working dog or an animal you work with, you're always used to doing weird things with them and traveling with them and camping with them," he said. "And so even though this is something the dogs have never done, they key in on you and they know they can trust you. And I know I can trust them."

Credits

Baihly Warfield

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