Meet the kids

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Part of the herd of goats that will be used for fire control this summer were brought in to meet the community on June 30.

By Brooklynn Wong

This summer is slated to be a hot one across Southern California as per usual, with a grim outlook for fire potential.

According to the Southern California Geographic Coordination Center, temperatures will be higher than usual, and though the greatest danger in Southern California looks to be in the inland empire and other eastern areas, the Canyon 2 Fire last year showed us that wind can carry embers from nearby fires anywhere and can have a catastrophic effect.

As done in years past, Anaheim Fire & Rescue, joining other cities in fire-threatened areas across the country, is taking an unconventional approach, bringing in some hoofed contractors—goats.

Nearly 200 Boer, Spanish and Nubian goats will be in Deer Canyon Park, eating vegetation, to eliminate the dry brush that assists fire in spreading quickly.

On Saturday, June 30, Anaheim’s Station 10 at 8270 E Monte Vista Ave. hosted a “Baby Goat Party,” in which they brought dozens of the young goats and their mothers that will be working through the summer, to a pen on the station’s lawn, and invited the community to meet the hoofed temporary residents.

From the time the event began, long lines of mostly children and their parents gathered to get their turn at walking through the pen. Fire personnel closely monitored the pen to ensure quality of life for the goats, with feed and water stations, tents that offered shade and they did their best to make sure children did not chase the goats, and only socialized with them on their terms.

Children also had the opportunity to see firetrucks, and walk around to educational booths that gave more information about just what the goats will be doing.

As for now, they can be seen at Deer Canyon Park at 7502 E Hollow Oak Rd. in Anaheim, where they can be socialized with. Anaheim Police Department Sergeant Daron Wyatt says, “The park remains open, but some of the areas the goats are in are inaccessible, not because the goats are there, but because of terrain.”

They will be there for several more weeks, and then will move to Oak Canyon Nature Preserve to begin work there.

The goats are on loan from Environmental Land Management, and are brought in from all over Southern California.

A young girl and the goats seek refuge in the shade.
A young goat explores the terrain—and one of the older members of the herd.
An Anaheim Fire & Rescue employee holds one of the smallest goats on hand June 30.
A young fan and her father connect with the goats.
A goat and its mother graze.
A young goat refreshes itself.
Goats at Anaheim’s Station 10.
A youngster and her father prepare to socialize with goats.
A kid gets a lay of the land.
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