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Grazing goats work to mitigate wildfire spread in communities across the Front Range

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Posted at 9:00 AM, May 28, 2024

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — After the Marshall Fire, wildfire mitigation became even more top of mind for thousands of Coloradans. In one Louisville community, goats are helping reduce the potential spread of fire.

"We were hired here, specifically, by the City of Louisville for fire mitigation," said Donny Benz, who owns Goat Green LLC.

Roughly 700 goats were grazing on vegetation Monday afternoon, filling their stomach while helping secure the Louisville community.

"This is another tool in the toolbox," Benz said. "They're removing and recycling the fire ladder, which is everything from ground level to about 36, 48 inches around there. That's really how fire travels when the wind pushes it."

Benz told Denver7 the goats will eat and remove the excess vegetation, creating a buffer around nearby homes and keeping those living inside of them safe from fire.

"We're on their schedule," Benz said.

Grazing goats work to mitigate wildfire spread in communities across the Front Range

Removing about one acre of excess vegetation will take the roughly 700 goats about eight hours, according to Benz.

The goal is to get through 22 acres in about eight days. After the goats are finished with the specific open space area in Louisville, they'll move on to the next job.

"They'll go to the City of Westminster, and then the City of Broomfield and then the City of Erie," said Benz.

While every stop along the way is different, Benz's goal remains the same — to protect areas from fire or, at the very least, give firefighting crews some time.

"By removing this fire ladder in these fuels, it allows them time to get to the communities," he said.