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Wenatchee to hire brush-eating goats to prevent wildfire

Wenatchee will employ 300 goats in July to eat down grass, removing fast-burning wildfire fuel from the area.

WENATCHEE, Wash. — A community in Washington state plans to use goats to reduce the risk of wildfires.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Wednesday that a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant will fund the rental of goats to clear flammable brush around Wenatchee.

A wildfire near the city 148 miles east of Seattle four years ago destroyed 28 homes and three businesses.

RELATED: Western Washington should prepare for potentially busy fire season

Chelan County Fire District 1 Chief Brian Brett says 300 goats will be used for up to 10 days in July to eat fast-burning grass from areas that are hard for people and machines to reach.

This is the first time the district has rented the animals from a goat herder in Ephrata, Washington.

Brett says if the experiment goes well, the goats will return next spring.

RELATED: How to build a wildfire defensible space around your home