VICTORIA, Texas (WOAI) – Texas fire prevention experts have turned to an unusual method of removing highly flammable brush, a key component in the outbreak and spread of wildfires.
The City of Victoria, about 120 miles southeast of San Antonio, has brought in the firefighting goats of Texas.
“They’re firefighting goats because when they get through all the low-lying stuff which is what carries the fire that makes it so difficult for your firefighters,” said goats’ owner Susan Hatfield.
For the last two weeks, the firefighting goats have been grazing at Victoria’s Riverside Park. They’re the perfect animal because they prefer poisonous and toxic weeds to grass.
The firefighting goats are trucked in daily to Victoria from their barn in nearby Port Lavaca. They’re the only known firefighting goats in Texas and have caught the attention of the Texas A&M University Forestry Service. So far, the 26 goats have proved successful in clearing weeds and brush that could become a potential fire hazard.
The goats earn $1,200 a week for dining on the park’s brush. The city’s will determine if the goats are more efficient than people and machinery because of their ability to climb all terrains and their immunity to dangerous plants like poison ivy and poison oak.
“I mean, I think they all need to have a little gold badge on ‘em. They’re all heroes,” Hatfield said.