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Goats, sheep to return to Salinas River to clear overgrown brush

Posted at 6:01 PM, May 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 21:01:46-04

Goats and sheep will be back in the Salinas River this month, helping clear vegetation that could become fuel for a wildfire.

The City of Paso Robles has been using goats and sheep to graze the primary firebreaks in the river for the past couple of years.

Officials say they saw a significant decrease in the number of acres burned from new fires following the grazing in 2021 and 2022.

This year, they say winter storms increased the growth of grasses and mustard plants that can burn quickly and increase fire spread in the summer heat.

The city has reportedly been working with the San Luis Obispo County Community Fire Safe Council to remove debris from the river so grazing can begin.

The herd of goats and sheep is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, May 17.

They'll start grazing along North River Rd. and head south.

The grazing is expected to wrap up by the end of June.

The walking path between 13th St. and Niblick Rd. will be partially closed while the herd moves through that area.

City officials say the public can visit the grazing areas but they warn people not to touch the electric fence used to contain the animals.