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PASO ROBLES, Calif. – The City of Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services announced that soon, goats will return to graze the Salinas River corridor in Paso Robles to reduce wildfire risk.

The City provided more information in the following press release:

PASO ROBLES, CA – The City of Paso Robles welcomes the return of the goats and sheep, to begin grazing the primary firebreaks within the Salinas River. The herd will arrive Thursday May 2, 2024. Grazing is an approved method as part of The City of Paso Robles Vegetation Management Program, for reducing the risk of wildfire. The city has chosen grazing to maintain firebreaks because of its effectiveness and low environmental impacts. City fire officials have seen a significant reduction in new fire starts and acres burned since implementing grazing within the Salinas River in 2021. Each year there has been a noticeable increase in the effectiveness of grazing over that of the previous year, 2023 continued that trend, showing the best result to date.

Once again, the Salinas River saw significant water flow, requiring swift water rescue operations on multiple occasions. Like the previous winter, the much-needed rain also brought with it increased growth of light flashy fuels, such as grasses, mustard plants, and thistle, once cured by the summer heat these plants becomes receptive fuel beds for fire ignitions and increases fire spread if left untreated.

With help from the San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council, the city will once again treat the annual growth and ensure the established firebreaks within the Salinas River. The city is focusing on treating the most critical areas for fire protection first, then expanding out where possible. Grazing activities will begin along North River Road, north of Hwy 46 East, progress south, and is estimated to be complete on or prior to June 10, 2024.

Portions of the walk path between 13th St. and Niblick will close periodically as grazing progresses through those areas. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the area but be aware of the electric fencing used to contain the animals, please do not touch it. Grazing will be administered by The Goat Girls LLC and paid for with grant funds provided by The San Luis Obispo County Fire Safe Council.

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