NOWATA COUNTY, Oklahoma - On Wednesday afternoon, we had news crews all over Oklahoma, including eyes in the sky, documenting wildfires that swept across the state.

And in that duty, we sometimes have the opportunity to assist in the mayhem, just as countless others do. Helping hands seem to be plentiful around Oklahoma, because we all know what it is like to be affected by disaster at one point or another.

In this case, heads-up thinking spared livestock from deadly burns and a rancher from a big loss.

Von Castor, who normally is on tornado tracking duty for News On 6, was out spotting fires on the ground and gathering information on how the gusty winds were affecting range land in northern Nowata County.

Nearly 10,000 acres burned in one of the wildfires there on Wednesday.

Von drove upon a herd of about 20 cattle trapped inside a burning pasture as fire crept closer and closer at about 100 feet per minute.

As the wind swirled in 50 mph gusts, Von climbed through barbed-wire fence and propped open a heavy pipe gate so the cattle would have an escape route.

He ran back to his vehicle to breathe some cleaner air, and his dash cam caught the next 2 minutes on video. The cattle stood unmoved next to the gate as the fire continued to build and move in on them.

As our chief meteorologist and in-house rancher Travis Meyer said, cattle "are not noted for being the smartest animals in the world,” but when something poses as a fear factor or gives chase, they start to move.

In our video, you can see the cattle begin to feel the heat gaining on them, then they slip through the opened gate into an adjoining pasture with just seconds to spare as the flames consume their previous spot.

Click the attached video at the top of this story to watch the footage.


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