East Wenatchee using goats to protect city from wildfires

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Filbert and friends take a short nap
Photo copyright Marc Weinberg

Now that wildfire season has begun, the city of East Wenatchee, just across the mountains, is using a very large herd of goats to eat and trample the dried grasses and vines that helped sustain and spread a wildfire by the town last year.

The city lost 28 houses when sparks from burning grasslands were picked up by the winds and spread to homes.

The Seattle Times has the story: Goats gobble wildfire fuel around Wenatchee, where dozens of homes burned in 2015.

Shoreline residents know how effective goats are. The city has been using Earthcraft Services goat herds for seven years, to clear steep slopes in Shoreline. (Shoreline's urban shepherd)

The wildfires in Shoreline and north Seattle have primarily been on the steep slopes next to the freeway. Often they threatened homes. One wildfire last year managed to burn both sides of the freeway.

Perhaps WSDOT would consider maintaining their property with a few goat herds.

--Diane Hettrick


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