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Goats feasting near Utah homes to save them from wildfires

KUTV goats eating fire fuel 071218.JPG
Some homeowners near the Capitol are using hundreds of goats to help built a fire line behind their home, and these four legged animals are wasting no time eating away the grass and brush. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — Some homeowners near the Capitol are using hundreds of goats to help build a fire line behind their home, and these four legged animals are wasting no time eating away the grass and brush.

“This is huge, huge fire fuel,” Greg Cover said the owner of the goats who runs 4 Leaf Ranch in Kamas, Utah.

“They are consuming a lot of vegetation really quick.”

Cover says nine homeowners rented out 215 goats to come behind their homes to eat away the dry grass and thin out the brush in the scrub oak. Cover, who’s been raising goats for about 15 years, said he has a total of 415 goats and is swamped with people wanting to use them to eat away dry brush or weeds.

“The heavy fire fuels are from the ground six feet up and we are reducing the chances of a ground fire,” Cover said. “The cost of this compared to a man crew we are way cheaper.”

Cover said some of his goats can eat up to ten pounds of food a day and when they are done chomping away. “They poop out weed free fertilizer so they are actually getting two services in one.”

The homes are located a short distance away from a fire that broke out on the hill a few weeks ago.

That fire caused a real scare for homeowners like Susie Hallar’s daughter who owns one of the homes where the goats are crazing.

“It woke her up how close the fire was,” Hallar said. “This to her is like taking a tranquilizer. It calms you down because you know the underbrush is taken out and this is not going to be such a fire hazard behind their house.”

The goats arrived on Monday afternoon and are expected to finish the job by Saturday. The cost to rent the goats averages between a $1,000 - $1,500 per acre.

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