Goats prevent wildfires?! Why, yes, they do.
Goats are really useful creatures. At Lavender Fields, we use their milk, company,
entertainment, and firefighting skills.
Goats are being herded into fire-prone areas. These hungry herbivores move through the land, munching on shrubs, trees and grass, creating firebreaks. Since goats only stand about 3 feet tall, they will graze heavily on low-lying plants, creating a gap between the ground and higher trees. This gap can prevent fires from spreading or slow them down. In Spain, the recent wildfire severity is blamed on the declining number of herds grazing on the land.
Goats are perfect for the job for a few reasons. Unlike some grazers, goats do not limit
themselves to leaves or grass, they eat just about everything. Goats are able to traverse a wide variety of terrains, and they are naturally resistant to several toxic plants. They can also be herded, creating an even more effective grazing party. Using goats for fire
prevention comes with the added advantage of not adding to the carbon footprint,
compared to clearing brush with machines. The waste left by goats is simply absorbed into the ecosystem of the area.
Studies have shown that a herd can reduce the available plant mass by 75% in 30 days.
For example, when 15-foot-high flames reached an area that had been cleared by goats, the flames dropped to only 3 feet tall in lightly-grazed areas and stopped entirely in more heavily-grazed ones.