Border collie saves flock of sheep from wall of fire in Australia

A hero border collie has saved a flock of sheep as a wall of fire destroyed farmland in Australia. Patsy the six-year-old working dog rounded the sheep up with a farmer as the flames bore down on them in the rural town of Corryong in Victoria. She brought them to the safest paddock on the farm as her owner fought the fire in a tractor with a tank of water.

Patsy the border collie saved sheep from wildfires in Corryong, Victoria (Picture: @patsythecorryongwonderdog/Instagram)

Thanks to Patsy and her owner, almost all of the sheep were saved, along with the hay bales, silage, shearing shed, and farm houses. Cath Hill shared pictures of her brother’s ‘wonder dog’ sitting on the scorched farmland with the saved sheep and smoke-filled sky in the background. One shocking picture shows Patsy during the rescue with the flames getting ever closer behind her.

Patsy sits by a fence as a wall of fire approaches the farm (Picture: @patsythecorryongwonderdog/Instagram)

The flock of sheep graze on hay after being saved from the fire (Picture: patsythecorryongwonderdog/Instagram)

Cath said her brother is still fighting fires in Corryong, which she says will burn for weeks. She told ‘It’s like Armageddon.’ She added: ‘Everyone is just trying to get water and feed to their animals, shoot the ones that can’t be saved, get temporary fences up to keep stock secure, and put out all the logs and stumps still burning. ‘And there’s people who have nothing left but the clothes on their backs.’ Cath said there has been two days of cooler weather, which has helped stopped the fires moving so fast, but she fears the worse is still come. She said: ‘They are expected to get worse around Thursday this week when hot windy weather returns.’ Border collie saves sheep from Australia wildfires Play Video Loaded: 0% 0:00Progress: 0% PlayMute Current Time0:00 / Duration Time0:18 Fullscreen

Patsy sits on the scorched earth with the sheep in the background (Picture: @patsythecorryongwonderdog/Instagram)

She added: ‘It’s unbelievable and it’s only going to get worse. That’s why we put Patsy’s story out there. ‘People need something positive.’ After the rescue, Cath went to congratulate on a job well done, and filmed the good girl sitting on the burnt field. She tells Patsy: ‘Hey Patsy, can you hear those sheep? ‘That’s all your work, well done. You little champion, good girl.’ The residents of Corryong are crowdfunding to help families that have lost everything in the fires. A GoFundMe set up by local Matt Wilson has already raised $25,890 (£13,600) as the town prepares for weeks more of raging fires.

A kangaroo rushes past a burning house amid apocalyptic scenes in Conjola, New South Wales (Picture: Matthew Abbott / New York Times / Redux / eyevine)

A firefighter walks past burning trees during a battle against bushfires around the town of Nowra in New South Wales on New Year’s Eve (Picture: AFP)

He wrote: ‘One of the great things about this place is the seclusion, and still pristine condition of the rivers and mountains. ‘But that also means it’s easy to get cut off from the rest of the world. Cut off by road, or loss of power, or phone/internet. ‘Usually they just get on with life when this happens, they do not complain, and they make do. ‘It is also a huge farming area, and so people live on properties which are not only their homes but their livelihoods. ‘This community has spent the New Year battling one of the biggest fires to ever come through the district. Every single little town and area has been affected in some way.

A burning gum tree is felled to stop it from falling on a car in Corbago today (Picture: Reuters)

The sky has turned orange from the flames and smoke (Picture: Reuters)

‘We have some bloody amazing firefighters who have risked their own lives and properties to save as much of others as possible. ‘They have saved a lot of houses, but many have not been this lucky; some have lost everything and a lot of farms, sheds, stock and feed have been lost. This is their livelihood.’ Elsewhere in south Australia, thousands of koalas and kangaroos are feared dead on Kangaroo Island after a fire decimated protected nature reserves. It is estimated almost half a billion animals have been killed in Australia’s raging wildfires with fears entire species may have been wiped out. Ecologists from the University of Sydney believe 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been lost since September with the figure likely to continue to soar.

John Aish (L) who lost his home in wildfires is hugged at the Cobargo evacuation centre in Cobargo, Australia (Picture: Reuters)

Cobargo resident Belinda Shea’s home was destroyed in wildfires (Picture: Reuters)

Devastating fires have ripped through the states of Victoria and New South Wales, leaving several people dead or missing. Scores of homes along Australia’s east coast have been razed to the ground leaving thousands of residents stranded and many forced to take shelter in the only safe place left available to them, the ocean. Harrowing pictures and videos have captured kangaroos desperately attempting to flee great walls of flames while rescue teams have been met by the charred bodies of thousands of koalas. Others reported seeing cockatoos falling dead out of trees and farmers have fled only to return to their burned land and find it littered with the bodies of livestock.
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