One-hundred and fifty goats took to the streets of Downtown Lemon Grove Tuesday morning, doing their part in a unique fire-abatement program.
In association with Heartland Fire & Rescue and Environmental Land Management, the company providing the herd, the city hosted the grazing event in an abandoned lot behind the Hollywood Video adjacent to the trolley station. The herd was contained in a gated area surrounded by vacant structures and scheduled for a grazing shift from 8am to 5pm. The goats seemed to enjoy the dry brush, tumbleweed and greener plants equally, but alfalfa is their real treat, according to John Gonzalez, operations manager for ELM. It is used to supplement their meals and herd the goats throughout the lot.
The goats help firefighters by increasing defensible space. They eat heavy scrub plants and dry vegetation that could threaten nearby commercial and residential property in the event of a fast-moving brush fire.