California Is Now Using Goats To Help Prevent Wildfires

The goats could help prevent California's next disaster.

Sometimes, it's the most archaic solutions that work the best.

In California, the Ventura County Fire Department has decided to let hundreds of goats loose next week to help them clear dead brush that has accelerated the spread of wildfires in the past. Firefighters hope that, by having the goats eat the dead brush, it will prevent the rapid spread of fires like the one that destroyed the town of Paradise in November.


"They'll eat until we like the way the landscape looks, and then we move them to another area," Captain Ken VanWig, told Bloomberg. "They're very effective."

Goats have been used across California for vegetation control in the past and they aren't the only farm animal that can help. Goats, sheep, cows and other livestock can get into narrow canyons and gullies that humans on mowers can't reach, according to USA Today.  

"It's like a salad bar. They love it," George Gonzales, a goat herder in Chino, California, told USA Today.

Gonzales told the paper that 200 South African Boer goats can clear an acre of brush in a day. On top of being cheap, the livestock are also eco-friendly. Scott McLean, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said departments across California are using all their options to prevent another devastating wildfire season.

"It's another tool in the toolbox," he told Bloomberg.


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