Goats prevent wildfires

California using goats to prevent wildfires
A fire department in southern California is fighting wildfires with wild animals — over 450 goats to be specific.
Drought stricken California is facing a significant wildfire threat this summer, mostly due to lots of dry brush  just waiting for a spark. State officials and fire departments have come up with an innovative solution, send in the goats!
It makes me smile to imagine a government style brainstorming session where some dude said – “how about using goats”. Luckily for California the idea was not dismissed as ludicrous and they recently released hundreds of hungry goats to eat, eat, and eat some more. It’s a win – win situation for firefighters, residents and the goats. The goats are probably wondering what they did to earn an all you can eat buffet in sunny southern California.
What do goats have to do with Lean Six Sigma? One of the skills Lean Six Sigma professionals bring to the table is helping organizations determine the best course of action from a list of options. We help rank ideas based on various criteria with the three most common being:
  • Speed to implementation – faster is better
  • Cost of implementation – cheaper is better
  • Impact on the problem – greater is better
The “goat solution” would score very high because it can be implemented very quickly, is low cost and effective. This is a great example of innovative problem solving by a state government. Governments aren’t really known for innovative problem solving, so let us give credit to California for a job well done.

Related story:

At 9.45 a.m. each day, more than 1,000 Indian Runner ducks are released at South Africa’s Vergenoegd vineyard. Their mission: seek and eat thousands of tiny white dune snails feasting on vines.

Whether it’s ducks or goats to see nature and society working together is a beautiful thing.