• 31 October 2019
A brown goat bites down on some dry shrubberyImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption: A goat grazes in South Pasadena last month as part of fire prevention efforts

“During the CA wild fires, a herd of 500 goats helped save the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.” 

In May, the Ronald Reagan Library decided to use the goats to clear scrub surrounding the complex. They did this as a preventative measure because the scrub could feed a fire.

All of the brush that The goats ate created a fire break.  This slowed the flames and gave firefighters extra time to react.

The Presidential Ronald Reagan Library was threatened by the Easy Fire. This fire was the latest in a wide range of fires causing power cuts and evacuations across California.

The goat contractors included Selena Goatmez, Vincent van Goat and Goatzart. The hard work they put in helped save exhibits. These exhibits include an Air Force One jet and a piece of the Berlin Wall.

A spokeswoman said that the firefighters told her that the goats made the job easier. The clearing in the brush that the goats created gave them some extra time.

A group of goats standing on a hillsideImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption:  Goat grazing is one way of removing highly flammable brush

The goats were hired from a local company that is called 805 Goats.  They were hired to clear around 13 acres of land.

The company was started last November by Scott Morris. Morris charges around $1,000 per acre of land for the services.

Mr Morris says he will need to double his herd to meet the demand of the California wildfires.

 The Getty Museum in California was also protected by scrub-clearing work carried out by staff this week.
Two women wearing protective masks carry a small goatImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption: Goats from a ranch near the Reagan Library were also rescued from the Easy Fire

What happens to animals that are caught in the path of fires?

Ranchers and volunteers have been working hard to evacuate farm animals. They are carrying them away on trailers and dropping them somewhere safe. They work hard and then come back to rescue more animals caught in the path of the fires.

Sometimes the flames move too quickly for trailer rescues. In this case, the animals are let loose with the hope they can escape on their own and be recovered later. With the time constraints this is the last resort method in those situations.

A horse bucks up onto his hind legs as handlers try to guide him into the trailerImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption: People attempt to load a frightened horse into a trailer in Canyon Country
A man leads a horse on a rope through a field of smoke and small flamesImage copyright EPA
Image caption: Ranches north of Los Angeles were evacuated as the Easy Fire spread

Many people have been displaced from their homes. This also includes animals and many animals have been killed or lost.

The Pet Rescue and Reunification Facebook group, which is dedicated to reuniting pets with owners, is flooded with pictures of missing animals from the fires.

Shelters that are under the threat of fires also have had to evacuate animals.

A women with her face covered to prevent breathing in smoke walks with two dogs on leash and a small animal crate in handImage copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image caption: A resident of Canyon Country evacuates her home with her pets
A woman is knitting beside her large brown dogImage copyright AFP
Image caption: Budweiser and his owners, Sheila and John Pereira, are staying in a trailer in a Walmart parking lot after fleeing the Kincade fire

Out of the ten active wildfires raging in California, the Kincade Fire is the largest. It is in the north of the state. It has burned more than 76,000 acres so far.

A state-wide emergency has been declared by the Governor.

Spokes hangs over five llamas in a fieldImage copyright GETTY IMAGES

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Image caption: Llamas stand in smoke from the Kincade Fire

Original Credits for the story: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50248549?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/clm1wxp533pt/animals&link_location=live-reporting-story