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Goats Bring a Community Together for Wildfire Prevention

October 2016

Here We Goat Again LogoOn June 25, 2016, 700 people came together in Castle Pines, CO, for the second annual community-wide “Here We Goat Again” Neighborhood Preparedness Day, held in collaboration with America’s PrepareAthon! While 300 goats cleared excess wildfire fuel across 14 acres of local neighborhoods in Castle Pines for 13 days, neighbors of the Pine Ridge Homeowners Association met with representatives from local, state, and Federal agencies to learn about ways they could lower their risk and prepare for wildfires. 

 
Goats grazed in open areas of the Pine Ridge neighborhood to get rid of weeds, grass, and oak sprouts.
Goats grazed in open areas of the Pine
Ridge neighborhood to get rid of weeds,
grass, and oak sprouts.
A representative from State Farm talked with residents about how to keep important documents safe and insure property. Residents discussed their wildfire emergency plans and learned how to work together and take action to prevent losses. The Douglas County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) made sure that residents signed up for Douglas County emergency alerts and filled out emergency communication plans.

“The neighborhood embraced mitigation and preparedness on their own,” said Einar Jensen with South Metro Fire and Rescue, “and they looked to America’s PrepareAthon! resources for support.”
 
People discussed their wildfire preparedness plans as they got together to watch the goats.
People discussed their wildfire preparedness
plans as they got together to watch the goats.

 Barb Saenger, resident member of the Pine Ridge board and head of fire mitigation projects, chose to use the goats after attending the Douglas County seminar on fire safety in May 2015 following unsuccessful attempts at reducing wildfire fuel using mechanical equipment.

Each year, the city works with Lani Malmberg, local business owner of Goat Green, to have the goats eat down vegetation to lower the wildfire risk in a natural way that is good for the environment.

  “Goats have proven to be useful tools when it comes to fire mitigation,” according to Jensen. “Unlike machinery, goats eat weeds and oak from the root, which helps decrease its return.”

Visit www.castlepinesgov.com/here-we-goat-again for more information about the benefits of using goats for wildfire mitigation and how your community can plan similar actions.