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Updated May 19, 2014 - 9:48 pm

Some using goats to prevent Arizona wildfires

PHOENIX -- As firefighters continue to encourage residents in Arizona's high country to create defensible space around their property in case a fire breaks out, some have found an alternative means to clearing brush.


"They eat pretty much 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They take breaks every now and then to digest, but, if it's a full moon, they just keep going," said Tanya Baker, owner of Settler Valley Ranch in Dewey, Ariz.

Aside from raising cattle and other animals, Baker and her husband offer an "environmentally-conscious fire fuels abatement program which provides fire breaks and defensible space in urban and wildlife areas without the impact of heavy machinery."

Baker said there are a lot of benefits to utilizing goats, including cost effectiveness, a more natural recovery process and giving firefighters the upper hand when it comes to protecting homes. The goats can also access terrain too steep or rugged for humans and machinery and they fertilize and till the land.

Unfortunately, Bakers said there are many subdivisions that forgo protection because some homeowners insist the government should pick up the tab for fire fuel abatement.

"Homeowners aren't willing to take charge and create defensible space around their home."

About the Author

Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.


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