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Grazing goats hard at work across Sacramento area as fire season approaches

Goats are back in West Sacramento for fire mitigation
Goats are back in West Sacramento for fire mitigation 02:20

WEST SACRAMENTO – With fire season fast approaching, communities are getting creative about how they prepare before a fire ever sparks.

If things are a little noisy in your neck of the woods, it might mean the goats are out and about cutting down on any dangerous fire fuel, a practice that really gained popularity in 2018.

West Sacramento leaders say there's more than one reason those goats are so good at what they do.

There's a team of go-getting goats hard at work near Village Parkway and Locks Drive in West Sacramento.

"The community loves the goats and it kinda and they've embraced it and it's kind of become its own thing inside the community," said Jason Puopolo, a parks superintendent in West Sacramento. 

Puopolo said there are several reasons goats have the advantage when it comes to cutting down on fire fuel.

"The steep banking here would all have to be hand work, a lot of risk and injury and the goats are the best thing for that," Puoplolo said.

It's a win-win. Goats get the hard-to-reach areas while also cutting down on the carbon footprint.

West Sacramento has 300-400 head of goat grazing up to three times a year.

"It depends on seasonal growth of vegetation, just really how much there is for the goats to eat," Puopolo said.

West Sacramento isn't the only city employing four-legged firefighters.

The city of Rocklin posted photos to social media saying sheep would be grazing nearly 1,000 acres of open space – efforts they say also help cut down on invasive plant species.

We are happy to announce that the grazing animals have finally arrived in the City. The sheep (and eventually goats)...

Posted by City of Rocklin, California Government on Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Over in Folsom, officials told the public they can expect to see and hear their team of grazers hard at work with vegetation management in parts of the city.

While their job is to chow down on the clock, picky eaters may pick their spot to help with fire prevention.

"They can be a little picky sometimes," Puopolo said.

Sierra College posted on social media that students can expect to see their team out and about but had very important reminders for the public: don't get too close to the goats and sheep and never feed them.

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