Most of the shearers in @nhmcelroy's photographs have a story about the extremes they’ve gone to in order to protect their animals. Shearer and sheep rancher Robert Irwin's sheep, both his own and the flocks he manages for others, are spread out throughout northern California. On a recent night, the winds around his Lake County, California ranch were blowing up to 50 miles an hour. “Everything was unsettled—the dogs, the sheep, the people,” he said. “We sensed in the air that something bad was going to happen.” When Irwin tried to check on reports of fire at another ranch, he opened the door to see a wall of fire in their path, with flames that shot up to 10 feet high when the wind picked up. “It sounded like a jet engine roaring across a racetrack,” he said. In the days and nights to come, he and his neighbors rallied to action, waking up neighbors in the fire’s path, and transporting animals to safety. They managed to rescue a flock of 530 sheep—”some of them were month-old lambs, still on their moms,” Irwin said—from a ranch in Potter Valley, just before the area was completely evacuated. At time of press, all the sheep were accounted for. Irwin and his wife, Jaime, who is eight months pregnant, were watching the winds closely. “We continue to dodge bullets,” he said. “But this is a good part of the world that still helps their neighbor out.” Tap the link in our bio to read more. Photographed by @nhmcelroy, reporting by @_true_stories_.