Fire Goats Are Back On Laguna Beach Hillsides
LAGUNA BEACH, CA— The herd of Laguna Beach’s fire prevention goats has grown to 800, according to reports, as compared to 200 in years past.
For the first time, the herd of fire goats brought in to mitigate the brittle brush has quadrupled in size.
Their job is simple. Eat. A lot. And keep eating. The plants they are mowing down, if left unattended, could ignite in a fire and destroy hillsides, according to a report in the Daily Pilot.
Laguna Beach Fire Prevention Officer Ray Lardie spoke with the Pilot on the program, especially after a season of super-blooming yellow mustard plants that can grow upwards of 7 feet tall.
After years of drought, the super blooming invasive mustard dried out quickly, Lardie said.
“We put the goats in for a day or two where you couldn’t see the goats, but you could see the mustard moving, so you knew they were in there,” Lardie told the Pilot. With winter rains and a thick growth of vegetation in the area, it was too much for the 200-strong goat herd.
Goats will be placed near Ceanothus Drive, and Three Arch Bay, before heading to Nyes Place, the Pilot reported.
Goats have worked Laguna since spring, maintaining the fuel modification program and the 16,000 acres of open land.