Grazing goats help lower risk of fire

Posted at 8:45 PM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 23:45:08-04

It’s fire season and the City of San Luis Obispo is using all of its resources to prevent fires, even goats.

There are already a lot of dry, grassy areas that pose fire risks, but goats are mowing the hillsides to prevent them from burning. 

Goats enjoy eating the overgrown weeds and about 55 of them from the Edna Valley herds are eating them for a greater purpose. 

“By eating all the vegetation, they, of course, minimize what can be burnt and by stomping it down, working it into the soil it allows for the soil to break it down and leave less that can be burned out on the hillside,” says Hunter Singh, manager of Edna Valley Herds Goat Grazing. 

The goats act as a more sustainable and safe version of lawn mowers, the machinery that ignited a 60-acre fire in Paso Robles earlier this month. 

The animals cover about 1/3 of an acre a day and will eventually graze 10 acres of the western side of Terrace Hill.

“Typically speaking, we only really plan on being here once a year. As long as it’s timed right, we can do it once a year," added Singh. 

Singh also said it would have been better to get the goats out at Terrace Hill in February, but starting in June is still effective. 

You can watch the goats graze on the hillside, but remember to stay a safe distance away from the electric fence and keep your dogs on a leash. 

Goats graze the western side of Terrace Hill to help prevent dry, grassy areas from burning. (Photo courtesy Alicia Sessler)