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  • Send in the goats: Portugal goes low-tech to beat wildfires

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Send in the goats: Portugal goes low-tech to beat wildfires

Source(s):  ABC News (ABC)

By Barry Hatton


The government is hiring this herd, and dozens of others nationwide, as part of its race against the clock to guard rugged parts of the Iberian nation against a repeat of last year's catastrophic wildfires. That includes trying to clean up as much woodland as possible before temperatures rise and the land becomes a tinderbox.

Blazes routinely blacken large areas of forest every year in Portugal. But last year they killed 106 people in what was by far the deadliest summer fire season on record. It was also a wake-up call for authorities, who were slow to react to social trends and a changing climate.


It's a mammoth task, and one that has at times been slowed by red tape. But one of the tactics being adopted is a proven winner: Deploying goats as an environmentally-friendly way to prevent wildfires has been done for decades in the United States, especially California and the Pacific Northwest.


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  • Publication date 13 Jun 2018

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