Should The Lehigh Fire Dept Use
Goats To Prevent Brush Fires?
In the community of Contra Costa County, California they are turning to an old-school method and using goats to help prevent wildfires.
Doing what they do best, goats are an invaluable tool in the fight to keep the East Bay Fire safe this summer.
In this case along Walnut Creek Canal, they’re also doing a little flood protection. The goats are the objects of a three-year study that’s nearing completion.
“We’re looking at the effectiveness of goats versus sheep versus our traditional methods of mowing and using herbicides,” said Mike Carlson with Contra Costa Flood Control.
Carlson says the goats are more than carrying their weight.
“They do a wonderful job. And actually, they’re the best ambassadors for the flood control district and the county that we have. I think what we’re going to find out is it’s going to be a combination of both the traditional methods and kind of these old world methods of grazing,” said Carlson.
The 200 goats are part of a much larger herd of 8,000 that are based at a ranch in Orinda, California. Goats-R-Us has ground four-fold in the last five years.
“We’re basically fire control. So when the grass gets real dry, we bring the goats out. Our goats are out here to work, to keep the fire or any kind of problems down,” said Carlson.
The only downside to using goats for grass and weed abatement so close to an important water supply is possible contamination.
But so far, the study shows the water has not been compromised.