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Goats clear vegetation as fire season begins

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By Ariana Jaso

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    MONTEREY, California (KSBW) — It’s go time for these wildfire-fighting goats.

Thanks to a grant of more than $100,000 given to Monterey County from Cal Fire and the California Department of Forestry, 600 goats are at Jacks Peak Park to help prevent wildfires. They eat up all the vegetation that could spark fires.

“They’re voracious eaters,” said John Akeman, Monterey County Parks Planning Manager.

They’re able to get into all the nooks and crannies that firefighters can’t reach.

“Just constantly eating so they’re removing all that in place of build up so it’s really good it’s a game-changer,” Akeman said.

The goats are fast workers and low maintenance.

CalFire Unit Chief of Monterey-San Benito County, Reno Ditullio said, “You don’t have to provide a lot of supervision to them. They are not mechanical, so they don’t make a lot of noise and they work 24/7 and they do a really good job.”

With many different types of fuels, grasses and brushes and a wild-fire season that’s already ahead of schedule. The goats are a huge help in the desperate need for fire prevention.

“We would like to continue using them. I think words gotten out and since the word has gotten out, we’re finding a shortage on the goats. But that’s a good thing,” Ditullio said.

The fuel reduction project covers about 40-acres. The goats will be at Jacks Peak Park for about two the three weeks and everyone is urged not the bug them, just let the goats do their job.

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