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Neighbors Count On Goats' Hearty Appetite To Keep Them Safe

DENVER (CBS4) - A total of 480 goats are being brought in by the truckload to the Roxborough Park neighborhood in southwest Denver to help with fire mitigation.

Their task is to eat the dry brush and flammable foliage.

The neighborhood homeowners association pays for the herd to come in annually and the group is convinced it helps prevent wildfires near their houses.

One resident, Mike Paine, loves watching the process but also says it keeps his neighborhood safe.

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"If we keep the brush cleared out we'll probably not have any forest fires," he told CBS4.

Lani Malmberg, the woman who owns the goats, refers to herself as the Gypsy Goat Lady. She says the goats are fabulous employees.

"They get up every morning excited to go to work. And they don't take days off, they work weekends," she said.

The goats can get through thick brush and scale steep terrain that firefighters have trouble reaching.

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The herd is expected to consume one ton of foliage every day.

The Gypsy Goat Lady and the animals travel all over the western United States doing fire mitigation for communities.

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Border collies help herd the goats. Zippie, Flint and Batman are the dogs that travel with the grazing goats.

Wherever the goats go, they always attract a crowd.

Trudy Kearns loves watching the goats.

"To watch them romp and play as well as mow down all the stuff we want to get rid of all the rubble, they're really fun to watch," Kearns said.

This particular herd will be in Roxborough Park for the next eight days.

Wildfire Resources

- Visit's Living With Wildfire section.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfires (Black Forest, Waldo Canyon, High Park and Fourmile) and largest wildfire (Hayman) in Colorado history.

Suzanne McCarroll is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. Her stories can regularly be seen on CBS4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @SuzanneCBS4.

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