Goats Help Save Reagan Library From Wildfires

As hot, dry Santa Ana winds whipped up wildfires in Southern California this week, 300 unlikely heroes were being credited with helping save the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Three hundred goats, that is.

That's because in May, 300 goats were brought to the library to eat all the brush around the complex.

"We actually worked with the Ventura County Fire Department in May and they bring out hundreds of goats to our property," Melissa Giller, a spokeswoman for the library, told ABC. "The goats eat all of the brush around the entire property, creating a fire perimeter.

"The firefighters on the property said that the fire break really helped them, because as the fire was coming up that one hill, all the brush has been cleared, basically," she said.

Goats graze on a hillside as part of fire prevention efforts, in South Pasadena, California, Sept. 26, 2019.

The caprine contractors are part of an 800-head herd from 805 Goats, a Southern California company that offers a "sustainable, ecologically friendly" way to reduce fire danger and manage lands.

Scott Morris, the owner, said he charges $1,000 per acre of land to allow the goats to graze.

Vincent van Goat, Selena Goatmez, Goatzart and Nibbles were among the goats in the herd brought in to clear about 13 acres at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Morris said goats, which have voracious appetites, prefer to graze on weeds over grass. As for how it works: The goats are brought to the property and turned loose.

The company's website said, "Goats will consume the noxious weed vegetation first, consisting of eating all the flower heads and leaves, with only bare stock remaining. With the elimination of the flower heads, the natural progression of the cycle is stopped immediately."

Morris said his year-old company is busy with clients that include cities, homeowners associations and golf courses.

by via Voice of America - English