Goats have been herded in to help NSW prepare for the upcoming bushfire season in a baffling move. Here’s how it’ll work.
Goats are being herded in to help NSW prepare for the upcoming fire season.
A recommendation of the independent inquiry into the Black Summer bushfires of 2019/20, about 40 “firefighting” goats have started chewing their way through hectares of fuel loads in the state’s west.
Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott joined NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) crews near Mudgee on Wednesday to meet the livestock, dubbed NSW’s first “goat brigade”.
Mr Elliott said the grazing trial would better protect the community and the region from grass fires.
“This alternate mitigation strategy may look like a novel solution, but it provides an important advantage in that it can be implemented rain, hail or shine,” he said.
“The goats are used to the hard yakka, are chewing through their KPIs, and thankfully we don’t need to worry about them working on an empty stomach.
“This is such a simple but valuable way of mitigating the risk of fire, any kid could do it.”
The goats were sourced from a local business, Dry Creek Farm, and graze between different patches of undergrowth through high-risk areas, such as Clandulla and Lue.
The trial started in August and will continue over several months across different locations.
It’s estimated the goats will chew through about a quarter of a hectare of dense vegetation in two weeks.
RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said the goats had made “remarkable progress” since they got to work in August.
The inquiry was called in the wake of the devastating 2019-20 summer bushfire season and examined Australia‘s readiness for and response to all natural disasters.
The final report was tabled a year ago, with the inquiry making 80 recommendations on how to better tackle a natural disaster, including bushfires.