Wenatchee to use goats to help prevent wildfires

Goat enjoying a restful day on Fir Island. Photo Credit: Bob Stevens, Stanwood, WA

WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — A community in Washington state plans to use goats to reduce the risk of wildfires.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Wednesday that a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant will fund the rental of goats to clear flammable brush around Wenatchee.

A wildfire near the city 148 miles (238 kilometers) east of Seattle four years ago destroyed 28 homes and three businesses.

Chelan County Fire District 1 Chief Brian Brett says 300 goats will be used for up to 10 days in July to eat fast-burning grass from areas that are hard for people and machines to reach.

This is the first time the district has rented the animals from a goat herder in Ephrata, Washington.

Brett says if the experiment goes well, the goats will return next spring.

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