Goats helping to reduce Colorado wildfire risk

Posted at 8:42 AM, Jun 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-24 10:42:51-04

In the hills of Castle Pines, a herd is moving through the trees.

It’s not a herd of elk as you might expect, but rather goats. Hundreds of them can be seen moving through the brush and eating everything in sight at Pine Ridge.

The goats, owned by Danny Benz, are hard at work eating their way through the trees that border Pine Ridge subdivision, and though they might not know it, they are doing a big part to help with fire mitigation.

"Mitigation makes a huge difference," said a representative from South Metro Fire.

The South Metro Fire Department has been using the goats in this area for several years to clear vegetation that could fuel fires. Unlike cattle, the goats prefer leaves and shrubs over grass, and they are eating machines.

A single goat can eat over 10 pounds of oak leaves in a single day, and with this many goats, they can clear an entire area in no time.

The goats are paid for by the city and local homeowners, and the residents say they enjoy seeing the critters do their work. "You know the goats really bring everyone together and it’s enjoyable for the youth to come out and see that there is an alternative to chemicals and machinery of taking care of the land," said Benz.

"We can already see a huge difference with these goats are making for us in Castle Pines. We’re making all of us much safer," said South Metro Fire.  So it seems that fire mitt-goation is really making a difference.