Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fire season

Nothing strikes terror into the hearts and minds of Lagunans as much as the four letter word FIRE. Back in October of 1993, nearly 400 homes burnt to the ground in a devastating firestorm. I remember it so well. We were not living in Laguna at the time. We had bought our first house in Costa Mesa, and our first baby was six months old. It was terrifying as we watched from that strange, distant perspective, not knowing if some of our friends were losing their homes.
People are amazing though, and after the shock and sadness wore off just a little, some folks sold their lots, but many others rebuilt. And 17 years later, the hills are alive again.
So, as we approach the height of fire season again, (you may have winter, spring summer, and fall, but we have winter, spring, summer, and fire) we hope that we are better prepared both in prevention and in defense.
One way our city is handling fire prevention is with our very own herd of goats. yup, you heard me, goats. As we all know, goats eat everything. From tires, to couches, and pretty much everything else. So, it's a natural that we put them to work, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, doing what they do best.

Goats at work
And I have to admit that some weird spiritual feeling washes over me as I watch those goats chomp away. Seriously, I kid (he he) you not! There's something about the natural circle of life thing that just takes over. Sometimes, I even get a little weepy. Ok, so I'm an old softy, so what?
The whole goat thing can't be without some controversy, though. Some environmentalists claim that the goats are too good at what they do. They eat the indigenous plants, too. And not just a nibble,  they devour them, leaving no trace. Being somewhat of an environmentalist myself, I understand their concerns, but I really love those goats! So, for now I'm on the fence on the goat issue. Even if the fence is electric.
Hey, is that a native plant?


  1. I think it's a great idea! I had a friend, waaaaaay back when I lived in LA, that had goats and pigs she leased out to clear land. the goats ate what was above ground and the pigs got the roots. She rented them, by the day, all over LA county to environmentally consious. If the goats are kept moving, so they don't root, the environment should survive

    Is there a shepherd that goes accompanie them? I may want that job!

  2. yes, the goats are continually moving around the hillsides. dog and shepherd is included with the package. i've heard that whoever the company that serves the city makes a lot of money, they then hire the herd and shepherd. i don't think the shepherd gets paid all that much, and they work really hard, putting up and taking down fencing, and moving the herd around.