In the water-parched East Bay hills, herds of goats are helping to prevent fires -- one bite at a time.
But they are not alone. Firefighters are clearing brush and removing dead trees. And millions of dollars are being invested in projects to reduce fire risk. "We’ve been chronically busy," said Goats R Us owner, Terri Oyarzun. "350 goats can take down about an acre a day of average growth."
For 27 years, Oyarzun’s business has been growing, with thousands of goats spread out at several East Bay parks. Nearly 600 are at Chabot Park chomping away at dry vegetation this week.
"They’re the cutest things on earth. We love them and they have the greatest personalities," she said. "But they’re here to do a job."
While using goats is not new, the East Bay Regional Parks District said 65% of the land is grazed, targeting some 832 acres in areas within 200 feet of homes at 13 different parks.