Matt Nolte has had to evacuate the animals from his Wondernut Farm four times due to fires.
But this time, on Sunday when the Flat Fire raged nearby, he was 3,500 miles away in Greenland working a construction job.
His partner, Carrie Piesen, called to let him know the back of their neighbor’s property was on fire, still some distance from their 40-acre spread.
He followed along on a scanner channel via the Internet.
Soon, an evacuation notice for their road, Priest Coulterville, was issued. And with it came the challenge of getting two sows, a boar, about 20 piglets, five growers, two rams, a buck, 15 ewes and does off the property when all they had was a small trailer.
But help arrived and Monday all was well on Wondernut Farm after firefighters wrestled a fast-moving wildfire in temperatures reaching 100 degrees in steep terrain.
They kept the fire at 163 acres on a hillside to the top of Jackass Ridge. By Monday night the fire was 65 percent contained.
Meanwhile, in Calaveras County, the Horse Fire on Stagecoach Road and Horseshoe Lane outside Copperopolis was determined to be 80 acres and 80 percent contained.
Cal Fire said there was no growth overnight on the Horse Fire, which they initially said was 50 acres. The increase in acreage was due to better mapping, Cal Fire said.
The Flat Fire near Moccasin started sometime after 2 p.m. Sunday on 60 acres of steep terrain and crept up another 60 acres quickly to Jackass Ridge and then another 32 in the early evening. No structures were destroyed.
Mandatory evacuations were lifted Sunday night for all areas of Jackass Ridge and Jackass Creek roads as well as Priest Coulterville Road from the 9780 block to the Mariposa line and Ofelia Court, Cal Fire reported.
Nolte said they had evacuated in 2014 in the Marsh Fire and in the Detwiler Fire last July. The animals were taken to a property along Jacksonville Road near Jamestown and had to be evacuated again when two fires erupted in the area two weeks later.
He said the main structures and solar panels at the farm have a series of sprinklers to protect them.
The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office said Highway 49 at Highway 120 was closed to through traffic and was reopened Monday.
The Red Cross shelter closed in the early evening Sunday due to improved conditions.
An evacuation center for animals had been established at the Mariposa Event Center, 2759 Ranchito Drive, La Grange.
The fire was described as having a rapid rate of spread, bolstered by wind, in dense chamise and manzanita.
As firefighters were battling the Flat Fire, the Horse Fire began, requiring some air support to divert to Calaveras County.
Cal Fire issued mandatory evacuations for the west side of Conestoga Trail from Stagecoach to Highway 4 as well as an advisory for the east side of Conestoga Trail, but the order was lifted Sunday night.
Calaveras Office of Emergency Services reported on Twitter that the Red Cross had opened a shelter at the Creekside Building at the Sonora Fairgrounds, which closed Sunday night.
The Calaveras Fairgrounds was available for livestock. Firefighters were on scene through the night.
The Moccasin area fire is the second in less than a week.
On Tuesday, three trucks burned and another was damaged in a fire outside of the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power Moccasin Dam’s paint and electrical shops.
The fire was contained to the parking lot and did not disrupt operations at the power plant, Betsy Lauppe Rhodes, Hetch Hetchy Regional Communications Manager said.
Tuolumne County Fire investigator Stephen Gregory said last week they didn't know where inside the truck the fire started. The cause remained under investigation.
Nolte seemed to take the situation in stride. Sometimes the cause of these fires simply can't be known, he said.