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Hundreds of Fire Prevention Goats Assigned to Two-Week Duty on Simi Valley Hillsides


A group of goats in Simi Valley have a very special job to do. 

They helped save the Reagan Library and Museum from a fast-moving wildfire once already. And now they begin a one to two week munch-fest, at the library.

Although it may look like a bunch of famished goats stuffing themselves, it is actually much more.

In 2019, the “Easy Fire” was about as close as a wildfire ever got to destroying the famous library and museum, according to Captain Brian McGrath. Intense flames raced up the hillsides and at one point, completely surrounded the campus.

But McGrath says careful land management, including this voracious group of goats, had taken a lot of power out of the blaze.

This year, the rains left even more chaparral. So Ventura County Fire brought in 700 goats to eat their way through most of it. McGrath says they will continue eating “until the job is done.”

They’re corralled inside an electrical fence, but also carefully monitored by on-site goat herders, including a very focused dog.

The goats eat through as many as 10 different types of Southern California chaparral. And no seeds can survive the journey through a goat’s gut.

“It’s not gonna spread this mustard seed to another part of the mountainside,” McGrath said. 

In the old days, this would have to be done by hand, with weed wackers, a labor-intensive process that took days and plenty of personnel.

But now, everybody’s happy, including those hungry goats.

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