Fire Fighting Goats

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Fire Fighting Goats

Sydney Gager, Editor

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Often the solutions to our environmental issues are already present in the environment. Rather than using expensive or harmful methods–ranging from environmentally harmful chemicals to intentional fires that can easily spread–many have realized goats, with a diet of weeds and woody plants, are natural brush-clearers.

Since 1991, programs have been in place to use goats to halt the spread of fire. So how does it work?

While sheep graze on grass, goats prefer to eat weeds, from poison ivy to oak. 350 goats can clear an acre of brush in one day. Cheaper and more effective than human crews or noisy machines, they are the best economical and environmental solution to stopping fires.

There are numerous companies in this expanding industry ready to offer goats to everyone from farmers to golf club owners. This is increasingly important as fires become more frequent in California. Most recently, the lack of brush helped protect the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. While fire fighters and water drops were essential, the firefighters were thankful for the fire line created by the goats as it kept the blaze from getting too close to the library.

Goats aren’t just cute, they are an essential fire fighting tool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Barnyard Weed Warriors, http://barnyardweedwarriors.com/.

Daniels, Jeff. “Goats, Sheep Reducing California’s Fire Risk One Bite at a Time.” CNBC, CNBC, 21 July 2016, https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/19/goats-sheep-reducing-californias-fire-risk-one-bite-at-a-time.html.

Edwin Kiester, Jr. “Using Goats to Prevent Wildfires.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 1 Oct. 2001, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/using-goats-to-prevent-wildfires-51327045/.

Rivas, Karolina. “Over 1,000 Goats Needed to Clear Dry Brush from California to Help Prevent Wildfires.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 18 Oct. 2019, https://abcnews.go.com/US/1000-goats-needed-clear-dry-brush-california-prevent/story?id=66368853.

“Are Goats the Secret Tool We’ve Been Looking for to Prevent Wildfires?” Office for Science and Society, 16 June 2019, https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/did-you-know-environment/goats-might-be-secret-tool-weve-been-looking-prevent-wildfires.