Baaa-ttle Stations! South Pas Is Hiring Goats to Combat Fires

Goats are coming to South Pasadena as a way to clear away the large amount of vegetation. Courtesy photo

While properties with homes and even privately owned vacant lots are considered more easily “defensible” against wildfire threats — with owners responsible for keeping them free of dead vegetation — public lands pose a tougher challenge, South Pas Fire Chief Paul Riddle said.

“You’ve got to get pretty creative in managing that fuel,” Riddle told the Review.

And so South Pasadena is getting creative. It is calling in … goats.

“We’re going to have goats come in and clear the back side of Hanscom (Drive) all the way down into … L.A. City,’’ Riddle told the Review.

“That’s an area of South Pasadena that’s never been cleared before, and goats are an excellent way to manage vacant land.’’

The tentative date for the goat gobble is Sept. 19.

“It looks like we’re going to be bringing in about 150 goats to clear that 10 acres,’’ Riddle said. “A lot of cities, it’s pretty common to bring in goats – (cities) that have larger acreage. But this is the first time we’re going to use it in that area of the city, kind of on a trial basis, and see how it goes.’’

It’s in the public works budget, he said, for growth management on the city-owned, unimproved lots.

Riddle said the city has hired the Sage Environmental Group for the task.

“They encourage people to come by, they even have goats set aside and they have petting areas for people who want to come by with their kids,’’ Riddle said.

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