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Goat grazing in Paso Robles is back

goats grazing .jpg
Posted at 8:16 PM, Apr 10, 2022

The Paso Robles fire department is prepping for fire season. Sunday marks the first day of goat grazing within the Salinas Riverbed.

The fire department says they had to push up the grazing by a month due to the lack of rain and higher temperatures California has been experiencing.

The friendly faces will soon begin munching away at overgrown weeds and grasses within the riverbed and some residents are ready for their return.

“They’re so funny, they talk to each other, bash each other out of the way... who gets the best blade of grass," said Paso Robles resident Sarah Griffith.

“When we heard about it, my wife and I made sure we would come down here and see the goats," said Paul Fairchild who lives in Paso Robles.

Goat grazing is an approved method used to reduce the risk of wildfires in the city of Paso Robles that creates a firebreak.

“That gives a barrier when that area is cleaned up and the vegetation fuel load is reduced when a fire transitions into those areas it lays down," said Battalion Chief Jay Enns, Paso Robles Fire Department.

“Actually, it’s a win, win because the goats get fed and we don’t have to deal with fire," said Griffith.

With this method, the fire department says they have seen a decrease in the number of acres burned within the Salinas Riverbed because of fires starting.

“The starts are usually from either cooking fires that people are having in the riverbed or campfire that people are having in the riverbed," said Enns.

Some residents say they, are using this method as well on their own property.

“It’s an underdeveloped area with lots of grass and tress and to make that safe against fire we are having goats graze it down now," said Fairchild.

Fire officials say goat grazing is more effective and has lower environmental impacts than using heavy machinery.

This year around 100 acres will be grazed and it is estimated it will take about six weeks to complete.

Paso Robles Fire Department encourages the community to come out and watch these furry friends at work but does ask people to keep their distance from the electric fence.