Forest fires can cause a loss of life, environmental damage to animal habitats and residential areas as well as an impact on air quality. While they are difficult to prevent and control, one option that is green and efficient is the use of goats. Herding scores of the animals through forests that have a floor of dense vegetation can be a way to deprive a fire of potential fuel. Ground cover of flammable plants and trees can be munched away by herds of goats in areas that are prone to fire risk. This type of dense vegetation can quickly catch fire in dry spells so eliminating it takes away a primary fuel source when lightning or other accelerants are present.
Getting rid of the thick ground cover can also provide easier access to fire areas by firefights, allowing them to get to the source of larger fires quicker. The role of the animals is not only to prevent forest fires but to actively fight them as well. Those that handle the goats have a deep respect for the danger the animals can face, as well as the service they provide to drought-stricken areas. The program in Spain is just a trial, but so far, it's been successful, and those involved are feeling good about the impact the animals have had and the reduced need for chemical fire extinguishers and human firefighters risking their lives to put out large fires.