Spain is using goats to prevent forest fires

Spain is using goats to prevent forest fires

20 September 2017

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SPAIN:  Much of Europe was scorched this summer from numerous forest fires. In Spain, goats and sheep are helping to fight the blazes — one nibble at a time.

Dubbed “Goat Fire Brigades,” the animals are part of a pilot programme in the Girona region of northern Spain, run by Pau Costa Foundation.

Tapping into an old agricultural practice, the herds are set out to graze in strategic areas of the forest identified as being at risk from fires.

The local breeds, particularly suited to the terrain, make quick work of munching through overgrown trees and scrubland vegetation. This not only deprives fires of fuel, but also creates cleared areas for fire crews to easily reach the forest. It’s simple, cheap and effective, and also gives the shepherds a unique selling point for their products.

This summer hotter temperatures, high winds, and poorly managed forest and scrubland have sparked devastating wildfires across Europe, including France, Portugal, Italy, and Spain.

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