Goats Begin Fire Prevention Work in Carson City

CARSON CITY (AP) - A unique group of fire prevention specialists has launched an effort to help rid Carson City of noxious weeds that fuel wildfires.

Pans call for about 150 goats to graze on the city-owned Quill Ranch near Kings Canyon over the next three weeks. A July 2004 wildfire near the area destroyed 17 homes.

City officials say control or management of Russian knapweed, cheatgrass and other weeds is a good fuel-reduction practice required by state law.

They say the goats won't have to spend as much time grazing this year because they covered about ten acres in the capital city last year.

The city prefers goats to pesticides because Quill Ranch is located near one of the city's wells.

Last month, about 100 goats were used to remove a prolific weed at Swan Lake near Reno.

It was the first time goats were deployed in Washoe County to combat whitetop, which destroys all other plants when it spreads and deprives wildlife of their food source.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.