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Hungry Herd Of Goats Helping Create Fire Breaks In West Sacramento

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- Preventing wildfires starts small with things like creating defensible space around your house. City governments are taking it a step further by employing goats for weed control.

"They are happy and ready to get some fresh grass," said one woman as she watched the goats walk by.

Hundreds of goats helping create fire breaks were on the move Monday, crossing over Jefferson Boulevard at Locke to clear high grass and weeds near an area trail.

"They have done an amazing job ... the weeds were tall," said Nel Penney.

Paul Hosely, the City of West Sacramento's public information officer, says they've been using the goats for a decade now.

"About 400 goats can clear two acres a day and get in places mowers can't reach," said Hosely.

The goats were recently hailed as heroes after clearing underbrush near a housing complex on Fontana Street before a fire broke out Friday. Firefighters say that kept the flames from reaching any homes.

Aside from helping fight fires, they are fun to watch.

"We've been driving all over West Sac trying to see where they are and there was something on Facebook that they were going to be pushing them across, so we had to come and see them," said a man who was with his young grandson.

City of West Sacramento officials say they get calls all the time from people wanting to know the whereabouts of the goats.

"We have created a West Sac goats Facebook page, we have a website, we've done contests: 'Take a selfie with a goat,'" Hosely said. "They are very, very popular."

It's a more efficient and more environmentally friendly way to keep fires at bay - and another positive: fertilizer is free of charge

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